Steve Inskeep, President Trump, NPR discussed on Morning Edition


It's six oh seven it's morning edition from NPR news I'm Steve Inskeep and I know well king good morning the house of representatives did what a lot of people expected it to do last night for Republicans and one independent joined every Democrat in the house in voting to condemn president trump's racist tweets from the past weekend in those tweets president trump told for US Congress woman to go back to where they came from three were born in the U. S. and all of them are citizens joining us on the phone now is a senior member of the house U. S. representative Tom Cole is a Republican from Oklahoma good morning Sir Hey good morning to you so you were one of the few Republicans who openly criticized the president's comments do you think they were racist now I don't I think they were inappropriate and offensive but again I don't think they were racist why don't you think they were racist right because I simply don't I don't think I don't think the president is a racist I think that was one of the reasons why the the by the very ill advised resolution broke down essentially along party lines it over reached and frankly you know was a bipartisan sat up as opposed to being a serious and thoughtful discussion about a problem when you could teach the president's comments will you critiquing them for in that event well first of all I don't think you ever tell anybody to go back where they're from in America almost all of Americans are from someplace else it's not an appropriate thing and second I just talked to you don't you also don't question anyone to an American citizen you are an American were the were born someplace else or not so I think that implication bothered me a great deal and I just thought it was an appropriate way to talk to any American let alone for Americans who had been elected by their fellow Americans to represent them in Congress you just don't think it was racist now I don't currently I also think that if you you have to remember your to theirs we've had colleagues routinely call down by presiding officers for using inappropriate language for the president we've had people that have said the federal workers are you a running concentration camps we've had people that have said if you support Israel you do it for the money we've had people that our first for two the president with vulgar after faction said they're going to impeach him none of those people were centric to resolution so the double standard here in terms of accepting comments on your own side of the aisle and criticizing essentially sim which you know others white sticker similar going on other is just you know it's breathtakingly inappropriate please listen to see those people are not the president of the United States they are members of the same rules of decorum so this idea that it's okay for everybody but the president to say something I don't go with that look I think the rules of behavior and procreate language pride equally to everybody condition the president will likely hit some type of nerve along these lines again possibly soon are you comfortable with the Republican Party having to come to either defend or to cry the president's words again and again traffic people have to make their own individual decisions about that I don't see this as a the Republican Party doing something I see this individual members elected officials reacting so what I change the language of president I would but when I change the language of my democratic colleagues who again routinely call down by presiding officer on the floor on the floor which is actually a place that has a much higher standard of what's acceptable as a speaker found out yesterday you know again if you're going to do this you have to be willing to do it to everybody and I don't spend a lot of time quite frankly commenting on what other people say is if you do that you're not going to be saying anything you're just gonna be commenting on other people's comments so better to keep your head down do you work all right but when the president makes these remarks at the don't do much to add to his base in the country this diverse we know that I ease this is a losing strategy that he's pursuing well tell find out you know a lot of people thought he was pursuing a Louise losing strategy in two thousand sixteen and he prevail so we'll find out about that but if you're asking me what I prefer the language be more traditional more presidential I would and do I think that would be helpful to him politically I do because I think sometimes gets in the way of a very good economy a very good record on deregulation very good effort to rebuild the matter the American military has a lot to that I think you could point to that sometime just sort of rhetoric and distract from when I was little political guy I regret that I'd rather focus on the substance because I think it's a winner for the press we talk to former Republican representative Ileana ros Lehtinen a couple months ago as she left office she was the first Latina elected to Congress and she told us if the Republican Party fails to attract more diverse people it's just gonna lose a whole generation limply which he said we need to pay attention to the changing demographics of our country and we have not been attuned to that we've been appealing to one certain section of of America issue right I think she makes a very good point and certainly the point about appealing to diverse groups is absolutely critical America frankly it always has been but it's even more so today and you know again I don't think that was certainly proved President Bush or many of our members so but the point is it is an important point for Republicans to think about and fortunately there are conservatives in every racial or ethnic group in America but you've got a welcome them and you've got to bring them and and you've got a you know show them that their values are your values so when you fail to do that yeah you pay a political price warden probably at the show representative Tom Cole Republican from Oklahoma thanks so much Tim at mac covers Congress for NPR he's in studio with me Tim what stood out to you from that conversation what the congressman as seem to suggest that Democrats on a routine basis make equally offensive comments as the president did over the weekend I think Democrats would say that that misses the the whole point of what was so uniquely offensive about what the president said Democrats don't typically I I'm I'm not aware of any Democrats having told the president to go back to where you came from and that's because people with the president's racial background don't get told things like that does the very nature of why this the these comments were racist over the weekend and I think that's what Democrats would say our leaders in both parties comfortable with the outcome of last night's vote is going to move anywhere yeah Republican leaders in the house were were very quick to say that they did not think that the president was racist or that his comments were racist and they were as you could tell by the results of the vote yesterday unified against the democratic resolution and peers to mac covers Capitol Hill Tim thanks so much thanks a lot some other news now president trump's new rules on asylum are causing anxiety and confusion among the people affected this new role went into effect on Tuesday it means that most migrants cannot seek asylum at the US border unless they have already asked for asylum in one of the countries that they crossed on their way to the United States that means that many people fleeing Central America might end up having to ask for asylum in say Guatemala which has to prepare to deal with tens of thousands of asylum seekers your centers carry cot Jose Jonathan Escobar is one of the four hundred refugees now working their way through Guatemala's asylum system so with his.

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