Days after even President Donald Trump appeared to denounce his supporters for chanting “send her back” at one of his rallies — a cry echoing his own racist attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and three other congresswomen of color — supporters of a New Hampshire senate hopeful chanted a similar mantra at a rally on Tuesday. And rather than stopping the chant, U.S. senate candidate Bill O’Brien (R) actually joined in.
O’Brien, the arch-conservative former speaker of New Hampshire’s state House of Representatives, announced this week that he will seek his party’s nomination to run against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) next November. In May, he likened himself to Trump, boasting that, like the president, he too has been called “racist,” “misogynist,” “evil,” and a “bully.”
On Tuesday, his supporters at a rally began chanting “send her home,” as he attacked Shaheen. A smiling O’Brien gradually began joining in, chanting “send her home” along with his supporters, before saying “thank you.”
While the American-born Shaheen is not herself a person of color, the fact that O’Brien’s supporters have adopted the xenophobic and racist chant that even Trump said he was “not happy with” (before defending his supporters as patriotic “people that love our country”) indicates that the president’s view that anyone who disagrees with him should be sent away has spread across his base.