But the bulk of the Texas GOP delegation has remained silent on the matter after Trump said that four Democratic women of color in Congress should “go back” to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
But they will likely be called to weigh in soon, with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing she’ll call a vote on a resolution condemning the president’s racist words.
Trump made the comments on Twitter on Sunday morning, writing that the four members — U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — "who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe," should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
All four members are citizens; only Omar was born outside the country, in Somalia.
All three of the Texas Republicans who weighed in are top offensive targets for House Democrats next year. Hurd, a Republican from Helotes, told CNN that the "tweets are racist and xenophobic. They're also inaccurate."
Hurd, the most frequent Trump critic among Texas congressional Republicans, further stated that the sentiment Trump expressed was "unbecoming of the leader of the free world" and suggested that comment was a distraction from an increasingly hostile civil war between the progressive members Trump referenced and Democratic leadership.
"Now they have started circling the wagons and are trying to protect one another," he added.
Olson, who represents Sugar Land, tweeted that Trump's comments "are not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people in Texas 22."
"We are proud to be the most diverse Congressional district in America," Olson wrote. "I urge our President immediately disavow his comments."
And Roy, a freshman Republican of Dripping Springs, jumped in as well.
"POTUS was wrong to say any American citizen, whether in Congress or not, has any ‘home’ besides the U.S," he wrote on Twitter. "But I just as strongly believe non-citizens who abuse our immigration laws should be sent home immediately, & Reps who refuse to defend America should be sent home 11/2020."
U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Terrell, wrote that he interpreted the comments differently.
“Did @realDonaldTrump suggest America isn’t the home of my colleagues who have so far made a career out of playing the race card? I don’t think so,” he wrote. “Does he mean to condemn their disparaging comments about America and anti-Semitic quips? Yes, and so do I.”
Democrats, on the other hand, were particularly fierce in their responses.
"The racism and hatred cultivated and fueled by @realDonaldTrump only serves to further divide our country and puts the targets of his vile attacks in danger," tweeted U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso. "And this kind of attack is why xenophobic followers of his think the dehumanization of vulnerable immigrants is ok."
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, wrote, "Americans elected by their fellow Americans to represent them are right where they belong: in Congress. Racism has no place in our country or in the President’s Twitter feed."
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, called the comments “racism pure and simple,” and said the congresswomen “are already home.”
And U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, cited the tweets as he renewed his efforts for impeachment, stating that he would bring "to a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives" charging the president with "bigotry in policy, harmful to society."
"They’re Americans. You’re a bigot."
Trump, meanwhile, has expressed no regrets, saying that "many people agree with me." He suggested Monday that the four representatives hated the United States and were free to leave, according to The Washington Post.
Adam Willis contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2019/07/15/gop-texans-congress-mostly-silent-reaction-trump-tweet/.
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