Mayor Pete Buttigieg decried attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar on Thursday, branding President Donald Trump and his supporters as racist.
“We have to reject the kind of racism and demagoguery that tells a U.S. citizen to go back where she came from. Everybody knows damn well where she came from is Minnesota,” Buttigieg said. “That’s her home.”
Omar was born in Somalia and lived in a refugee camp for four years in Kenya, before coming to Minnesota as a teenager and becoming a United States citizen.
He said it was time to “name and reject” the “racism” demonstrated by the president and his supporters without getting distracted by it.
“We can’t let him steal the oxygen from what the Democrats are doing right,” he said.
Trump said Thursday he was “not happy” about the “send her back” chants at his rally, and said he would try to stop them in the future.
But Buttigieg denied that Trump was upset about it.
“If President Trump really cared, he would have done something on the spot about it, but of course we know that first of all he lacks the courage to do that and secondly he needs us divided, he wants us divided,” he said, speaking to reporters after the event.