Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who co-chairs Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential campaign, claimed on Sunday evening that his fellow Indian Americans will not vote for President Donald Trump simply because he showed up to a rally with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Trump appeared with Modi over the weekend in Houston, Texas, before 50,000 people at a “Howdy, Modi!” rally, and the Indian American community interrupted Trump’s speech on numerous occasions with roars of approval. Modi, who harnessed the power of social media to succeed in politics before Trump, has been dubbed India’s “first social media politician.”
At 'Howdy, Modi!' event in Houston, President Donald Trump’s speech was interrupted several times by roars of approval from the Indian-American crowd. More here: https://t.co/4pRsc9UIsr #HowdyModi pic.twitter.com/bSI5rpgAhC
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 23, 2019
Khanna, though, said on MSBBC that Trump is “misinformed if he thinks showing up at this rally is somehow going to help him with the Indian American vote.”
Indian American voters could be critical in swing states and help Trump keep a red state like Texas red, but Indian Americans were some of the most vocal critics of Trump after his “go back” tweet that was directed at the freshman “Squad.”
The California Representative said his parents are immigrants and his grandfather spent four years in jail with Gandhi fighting for independence, and he claimed Indian Americans will vote against Trump because of the “Gandhian philosophy of pluralism” that defines his community.
“It’s the Gandhian Philosophy of pluralism, of respect for fellow human beings, of dialogue for peace that define the values of the Indian American community,” Khanna said, adding “that is why 80 percent [of Indian Americans] voted for Hillary Clinton” in 2016.