Update: After this story was published, Sen. Marco Rubio issued a statement but cowardly refused to say whether he thought the racist comments were racist.
"I don't read into people's intentions," Rubio said, when asked if he thought the tweets were racist. "That's actually part of the problem is we throw these terms around. I can't tell you what his intent was, the White House and the president will have to tell you that."— Alex Daugherty (@alextdaugherty) July 15, 2019
Senator Rick Scott, meanwhile, essentially endorsed the bile:
.@SenRickScott said the tweet was not racist. "It's clearly not the way I would do it.But let's remember the position that these Democrats have taken. They've become the anti-Semitic party now, that's wrong, our country is not anti-Semitic."— Alex Daugherty (@alextdaugherty) July 15, 2019
Predictably, Florida Republicans are cowardly keeping their mouths shut today as Donald Trump doubles down on one of the most openly racist tirades he's made during his already racist tenure as president.
This past Sunday, Trump apparently watched some psychotic nonsense on Fox News about how four newly elected progressive congresswomen of color — Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — have been calling out Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for taking potshots at the four U.S. representatives' political beliefs. The congresswomen have pointed out the Democratic Party loves to cheer when women of color get elected but is less enthusiastic when they propose any ideas that conflict with the party line.
Trump, of course, seems simply pissed to see four black and brown women with opinions. Sunday, he launched into a now-infamous, astoundingly racist rant that's virtually identical to anything the Ku Klux Klan, opponents of the civil rights movement, or any other garden-variety white supremacists have been saying for decades:
....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
....it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
Notably, three of the four women he attacked were born in America, and the fourth, Omar, arrived in the States in 1992 as a 10-year-old refugee from Somalia.
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People with normal, non-monstrous brains have correctly called the thread vile, racist, inhumanly hideous, and the like. But Trump is capable of neither self-reflection nor contrition and, naturally, has spent today doubling down on his comments. He falsely called the women "anti-Semitic" in a follow-up tweet and then held an entire news conference during which he once again said the women should leave the country if they dislike it. Trump also, by the way, repeatedly told a female reporter to be quiet:
Donald Trump’s White House event disintegrated into a shouting match between the president and reporters when the president’s tweets telling unnamed progressive congresswomen to “go back” to where they came from were brought up https://t.co/O0VNfmJpfq pic.twitter.com/lGyFqZbOUX— POLITICO (@politico) July 15, 2019
So how have Trump's enablers in Florida reacted to his once again revealing himself to be a hateful, pus-filled gargoyle? By saying nothing whatsoever. Trump has numerous allies in Florida, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Matt Gaetz. They have, predictably, said nothing about the president's launching into a rant that wouldn't seem out of place on the white-supremacist website Daily Stormer.
In fact, it appears that virtually no Florida Republicans have lobbed even faint criticism Trump's way today as he continues screaming as if he's an extra in Birth of a Nation. As the Tampa Bay Times noted yesterday, Rubio and Diaz-Balart have remained silent despite the fact they are children of Cuban immigrants. Very brave indeed.