The Slatest

Republican Sen. Rand Paul Offers to Buy “Ungrateful” Rep. Ilhan Omar a Ticket to Somalia

Sen. Rand Paul addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Policy Conference June 27, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Rand Paul times two.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump’s recent racism has done damage to the collective American psyche. It’s also the point of his divisive scorched earth political strategy to play upon racial fears and resentments. Not wanting to be left out of the racism, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul hopped on the GOP bandwagon during a recent interview echoing Trump’s tweets telling Somali-born Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar to “go back” where she came from. Paul’s remarks to Breitbart News on the sidelines of last week’s Turning Point USA conference, a conservative youth summit in Washington, slipped through without much media coverage as the president’s tweets, became rally chants, and then a full-blown verbal assault as Republicans looked on.

The junior Republican senator from Kentucky, however, used the same language as Trump—and other right wing commentators like Tucker Carlson—in calling Omar “ungrateful” and suggesting that the American citizen member of congress who received asylum in the U.S. as a child, return to the country where she was born and fled.

Well, she came here and we fed her, we clothed her, she got welfare, she got [schooling], she got healthcare, and then, lo and behold, she has the honor of actually winning a seat in Congress, and she says we’re a terrible country? I think that’s about as ungrateful as you can get… And so—I’m willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to go visit Somalia… and I think she can look and maybe learn a little bit about the disaster that is Somalia—that has no capitalism, has no God-given rights guaranteed in a constitution, and has about seven different tribes that have been fighting each other for the last 40 years.

“And then maybe after she’s visited Somalia for a while,” Paul said, “she might come back and appreciate America more.”