Good news: It’s okay for Trumpers to say they didn’t like the chant now.
Trump disavows "send her back" chant at his campaign rally pic.twitter.com/4C8CmwNyKU
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 18, 2019
Is it true that he started “speaking very quickly” to try to cut the crowd off? It is not:
TRUMP tells WH pool he "was not happy with" the "send her back" chant at his NC rally last night & tried to stop it; "I started speaking very quickly.”
The video shows that’s not true. pic.twitter.com/jIEUQ1nyIN
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 18, 2019
But whatever. He’s telling people to knock it off now and that’s all to the good. Credit to him. But until the next rally, the jury will remain out on whether he’s sincere. The chant will inevitably start again once he begins riffing on Omar; what will he say? Will he tell them in earnest to knock it off, that they’re crossing a line, or will he do that jokey scolding he tends to do when he wants the crowd to know that he agrees with them but has to pretend otherwise for appearances’ sake? “Now, now,” he’ll say with a grin, “that’s *terrible.* The fake news would even call it deplorable.”
Also, what prompted this surprising rebuke of his own fans? Sincere remorse, or something else?
House GOP leaders raised the "send her back" chant at breakfast with VP Pence this morning & cautioned, "we cannot be defined by this," per Rep. Mark Walker, who called it "something that we want to address early" before it becomes a campaign staple like "lock her up"
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) July 18, 2019
Politico heard the same thing about Republican consternation over the chanting at this morning’s meeting, per Ed’s last post. Walker, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House and a solid conservative, offered this publicly on Twitter last night:
Though it was brief, I struggled with the “send her back” chant tonight referencing Rep. Omar. Her history, words & actions reveal her great disdain for both America & Israel. That should be our focus and not phrasing that’s painful to our friends in the minority communities.
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) July 18, 2019
Maybe POTUS had his arm twisted or maybe he sincerely regretted the “send her back” hooting even though it’s cheek-by-jowl with his own love-it-or-leave-it message from this past weekend. Either way, note that this isn’t the first time he’s publicly criticized his fans over a chant: I had no memory of it but Aaron Blake is right that Trump initially pushed back on the “lock her up” chanting about Hillary when it first began in July 2016. He called it “a shame” at the time, emphasizing that he “didn’t like” it — just as he did today with the “send her back” chant:
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 18, 2019
Within days, as the chanting persisted, he was telling audiences, “I’ve been saying let’s just beat her on November 8th. But you know what, I’m starting to agree with you.” He’s not a guy inclined to resist the most demagogic urges of a crowd.
Odds are, there’ll be official “Send Her Back” MAGA hats on sale outside his rallies by fall.
In lieu of an exit question, here’s Ilhan Omar pissin’ a little more gasoline onto the political fire.
Just asked Omar about the chants, and she says of Trump: "I believe he is a fascist." Responding to Lindsey Graham, who said if she were wearing a MAGA hat Trump wouldn't have said 'go back:' "Because I criticized the president, I should be deported?" pic.twitter.com/Pdgtozu6x6
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 18, 2019