Capitol Alert

In Congress, Republicans are silent about Trump’s racist tweet. In California, some aren’t

Most California Republicans, like their congressional counterparts, stayed silent about President Donald Trump’s declaration on Twitter that four Democratic congresswomen — three of whom are American born — should “go back” to their home countries.

Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley broke with his party to condemn the tweet, calling on his fellow Republicans to follow suit.

“This is beyond unacceptable, it is wrong and abhorrent. Dear Fellow Republicans, we must speak out and return ourselves to decency. This cannot be who we are,” Mayes wrote in a tweet.

Mayes also re-tweeted U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, who called Trump’s tweet “racist and disgusting.”

Mayes was the lone California Republican lawmaker to weigh in on Trump’s remarks, but he wasn’t the only Republican to do so

GOP consultant Rob Stutzman also tweeted about the statement. Stutzman was deputy chief of staff to the state’s last Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Dear Evangelicals who enable this disgrace, enjoy your Sabbath,” he wrote.

Mike Madrid, another California Republican political consultant, wrote on Twitter that “if your first reaction is to explain this away, defend this or dismiss it as ‘no big deal’ you are literally what is wrong with America at this moment in history.”

Russell Lowery was a third California Republican consultant to weigh in on the tweet, writing that he expects the National Review, a conservative magazine, to condemn Trump’s tweet.

“Not because this tweet is pressure, but because they are conservative. And for conservatives standing against racism isn’t difficult; it is who we are,” Lowery wrote.

Mayes is a founder of New Way California, an effort by moderate Republicans to regain ground in an overwhelmingly Democratic state. He has described it as a campaign to stay true to the party’s conservative roots while moving away from divisive social issues that have pushed minorities and women away from the Republican Party in California.

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For his part, Trump on Monday again tweeted about the four lawmakers — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayana Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — this time, demanding an apology from them.

“When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said,” Trump tweeted.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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