Two Republican west Kentucky state senators on Thursday offered their thoughts on supporters of President Donald Trump chanting “send her back” at a campaign rally in North Carolina this week.
The chant was in reference to Trump’s tweeted attacks against progressive U.S. representatives of color and specifically targeted Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia and became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
State Senator Danny Carroll of Paducah said he doesn’t believe Trump’s tweeted attacks are racist. He said the “send her back” chant reflects how some people feel about the representatives’ values and policy ideas, which he sees as “extremist.”
“I think it’s a response to the views and the statements that they have made and being un-American. If they’re not supportive or in agreement with what America is about, then maybe they do need to look for another country to live in,” Carroll said.
Carroll added that he thinks Americans have become polarized and have lost the ability to “meet in the middle” on issues. He also said he respects Trump taking a strong stance in his messaging.
“I think that’s where we are as a country today that we are so polarized, and we’ve lost the ability to really meet in the middle,” Carroll said. “And everyone just wants to stand their grounds at extremes. And that’s not what our country is about.”
Senator Stan Humphries of Cadiz declined to directly address whether he thought Trump’s tweets or the chants were racist, saying he didn’t know the intent of either. But, he said he believes the country will move past the controversy and focus on bigger issues.
“We’re founded from a nation of immigrants. And to say those things, I think somebody may have some regrets at some level,” Humphries said. “But I think we’re going to be moving forward. And I think there’s a lot of comments that have been said by both sides that probably, maybe need to be toned down a little bit.”
Both Humphries and Carroll gave their remarks to WKMS News while attending the annual West Kentucky Alliance for a Vibrant Economy Ag Day in Fulton County.
Trump in a press conference on Thursday disavowed the chanting supporters, saying he was “not happy.”