President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of four freshmen progressive Democratic congresswomen on July 21, accusing them of being unable to love the United States and suggesting they “apologize to America.”
“I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”
Trump’s message is the latest in a war of words with Democratic socialist Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).
In her response, Ocasio-Cortez didn’t challenge Trump’s assertion that she lacks patriotism. The Democratic socialist instead wrote on Twitter about several broad policy topics, including fighting to “guarantee” health care, student loan forgiveness, environmental protections, living wages, and “basic human rights.” She also accused the president of increasing drug prices, appointing “Betsy DeVos to scam student loans,” and hurting “immigrant kids.”
It’s unclear which data Ocasio-Cortez used in reference to increasing drug prices. The Council of Economic Advisors reported on July 11 that under Trump, drug prices dropped more in June this year than in any month since 1968.
Omar didn’t immediately offer a response, but shared Ocasio-Cortez’s message with her followers.
The president started the tussle with the self-described “squad” on Twitter with a series of messages on July 14, in which he suggested that the four lawmakers “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.” The Twitter message resulted in a media frenzy and a rare vote by House Democrats to condemn the message as “racist.” The four congresswomen also held a press conference to criticize the president.
Trump responded to each attack with a salvo of his own. He spelled out his thoughts in detail during a campaign rally, with a long-form critique that focused on each congresswoman’s past controversial statements.
Trump launched his attack on the same day that Axios reported on an internal Democratic party poll among a group of swing voters who dislike socialism, that showed Ocasio-Cortez has become one of the defining faces of the Democratic party. The poll has party insiders worried because losing this group of swing voters could cost the Democratic party the House of Representatives and the presidency in the 2020 election.
“If all voters hear about is AOC, it could put the [House] majority at risk,” a top Democrat involved in the 2020 races told Axios at the time. “She’s getting all the news and defining everyone else’s races.”
The poll surveyed a group of white voters without a college degree who voted for Trump in 2016, but are crucial for Democrats in swing House districts. Nearly three in four of these voters recognized Ocasio-Cortez’s name. Of those, only 22 percent had a favorable view of her. The majority of the respondents also recognized Omar, with only 9 percent holding a favorable view.
The voters surveyed are highly averse to socialism, with only 18 percent viewing the ideology favorably. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley advocate socialist policies, and all four support the socialist Medicare for All policy. All but Omar are cosponsors of the socialist Green New Deal proposal.
The Green New Deal proposes to hand government near-total control of the energy sector. The proposal calls for modifying or replacing every home in America and removing all gas-engine vehicles. It promises millions of jobs and universal health care, housing, economic security, and “clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature.”
Medicare for All would grant government control of the health care sector, while eliminating all private health insurance plans, with a fringe exception for plastic surgery.
The two policies would cost U.S. taxpayers $125 trillion over the course of a decade, according to two estimates. Currently, the entire United States government’s expenditures are estimated to total $60 trillion over the next 10 years.