At a campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, the president’s attacks against four progressive congresswomen of color culminated in his most overt attack yet. Referring to Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib as “hate-filled extremists”, he continued his tirade to the delight of his supporters.
“They’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said to the crowd, who soon erupted into a chant of “send her back”.
Yet Trump himself has repeatedly denigrated and criticized America, perhaps more so than any other presidential candidate in recent memory. If he holds himself to his own standards, perhaps it’s time for him to leave and “go back home”?
Here are some examples of Trump’s attacks on the US.
Make America great again
A longtime critic of Obama, Trump has said he came upon his famed slogan the day his predecessor was elected to his second term. The Maga slogan implied that America was no longer great, something he also repeatedly and explicitly stated in much starker terms in the years before and during his run. Speaking to the Washington Post in 2017, he said:
I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether it’s at the border, whether it’s security, whether it’s law and order or lack of law and order.
Trump’s 2015 book, Crippled America, was rife with critical quotes, referring to the country as “this mess” and “Uncle Sucker”, among other things, and took great pains to point out just how weak we had become.
The idea of American Greatness, of our country as the leader of the free and unfree world, has vanished … I couldn’t stand to see what was happening to our great country. This mess calls for leadership in the worst way.
On the day he took office in 2017, Trump painted a picture of America as a dystopian nightmare.
Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
The idea that criticizing the country is grounds for being dismissed from it would be news to the Donald Trump of the Obama years, when he described our collective humiliation many dozens of times.
Stretching back to 2011, he regularly tweeted about which countries and other political bodies were laughing at us and Obama, from Opec to “the mullahs”, Sudan, and, most frequently, China and Vladimir Putin.
US Gov't is on the hook for more than a third of the world's entire debt & we wonder why China & OPEC are laughing all the way to the bank!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2012
Thanks to @BarackObama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, China has become Canada's biggest oil consumer. China is laughing at us!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2012
Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012
Lots of killers
When asked during an interview with Bill O’Reilly in 2017 about his praise for Putin, Trump said America wasn’t much better. But was Putin was “a killer”, O’Reilly said. Trump replied:
There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?
Trump has not only often referred to the symbolic collapse of America, he’s also pointed out its literal state of disrepair. His speech to the 2016 Republican national convention was a laundry list of things that he found shameful about the country, including our infrastructure. He told the crowd:
Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in third-world condition.