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story.lead_photo.caption From left: U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Bruce Westerman and Steve Womack.

WASHINGTON -- Members of the state's all-Republican House delegation rejected a Democratic-sponsored resolution Tuesday "Condemning President Trump's racist comments directed at Members of Congress."

Three of the four House members on Monday criticized President Donald Trump after his attacks on four minority-group Democratic congresswomen. On Tuesday, the four opposed the formal condemnation.

In an interview, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro said the Democratic fixation on Trump is unhealthy.

"There are a significant number of members who hate President Trump," he said. "It's a huge impediment to us getting anything done."

He dismissed allegations that Trump's words had been racist.

"I think he touched a nerve. I'm not saying that what he said was even 100% accurate, but I don't think there were any racial overtones there and people should probably be a little less sensitive to things," Crawford said.

Lawmakers wasted hours Tuesday on a nonbinding resolution instead of working to fix the nation's problems, he said.

"It's ridiculous. It's pointless," he added.

In a written statement, U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock called on all sides to behave better.

"The Resolution introduced today by Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi clearly violated the House rules, but more importantly, it only served as a partisan attempt to stoke more political division," he said. "I stand by my previous statement: I'm tired of the war of outrageous and ill-informed comments -- from our president and other elected officials. This country needs less social media back-and-forth and more civil debate on policies that contribute to a stronger, more united nation."

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers said the opposition party has a double standard when it comes to speech.

"While I don't condone recent remarks by the president, I will not support a Democrat effort to single out President Trump when members of the majority party are on the record with hateful, disparaging, and anti-Semitic remarks of their own without consequence. It's hypocrisy at its worst," he said.

While distancing himself from Trump's comments, Womack portrayed Trump as a patriot.

"I believe our president loves this country, its people of all backgrounds, and is passionate about American exceptionalism," he said.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs on Monday portrayed Trump's tweets as "unnecessarily demeaning."

On Tuesday, he issued another statement: "Just a few hours ago, the House Parliamentarian ruled to strike Speaker Pelosi's words from the congressional record because she couldn't even talk about President Trump without violating House rules on personal criticism and ridicule. However, House Democrats overruled the Parliamentarian and allowed Speaker Pelosi's words to stand. All this happened while the House was debating a resolution to condemn President Trump for his words. You really can't make this up. Congress needs to get back to the business of legislating. That's what we're here for, and these partisan show votes just take us away from our work for the people."

U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Rogers urged the nation's leaders to foster unity and civility.

"While we can vary on what policies we support, singling out people whose opinions differ from our own is bad for discourse and public civility," he said in a written statement.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, who declined to address the controversy Monday, faced questions Tuesday at an Axios News Shapers forum about Trump's attacks on the congresswomen.

The lawmaker from Dardanelle said Trump had been "simply highlighting some of the extreme rhetoric from House Democrats."

Journalist Mike Allen followed up, asking: "Do you consider the comments racist?"

Cotton didn't offer an opinion on that topic.

"Mike, the president's going to tweet what he tweets," he said. "The point he's made, though, is that the House Democrats have engaged in truly outrageous statements that are anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police. That's obvious."

Photo by Frank E. Lockwood
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs is shown in this file photo.

A Section on 07/17/2019

Print Headline: State's delegation rejects condemning Trump for remarks


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Archived Comments

  • RBear
    July 17, 2019 at 6:31 a.m.

    I wasn't expecting any of the delegation to support the resolution. It's called politics and it comes from both sides. Was the resolution merited? Heck yes. Will the country go down the tubes because four congressmen from Arkansas didn't stand behind their statements and go on record in Congress? Hardly. The reality of this situation is that Trump played his heavy hand among Republicans and most are like little puppies who are spanked occasionally when they piddle on the carpet. Very little backbone in our state delegation.

  • WGT
    July 17, 2019 at 6:52 a.m.

    RBear is correct. To add, this administration is a symptom of the disease suffered unknowingly by the gaslit public supporting this abhorrent behavior. The duped citizens falsely believe they are “normal”, when the clear fact is, they are not. They are sick. They are deluded, arrogant, willfully gullible with a sense of being in the know, when the reality is, they are being deceived.

  • limb
    July 17, 2019 at 7:05 a.m.

    I myself am shocked there is so much support for that kind of verbal behavior toward members. Even blaming the members in this case. I wish they could step back and see how far off track they are from the normal response to a President saying this about anyone. This is a game changer for me even though I am recent to the party.

    I didn’t find anything anti-Semitic about saying something Israel wants is about money. This is all the evangelical demand that Israel is more holy than any other place because ..Jesus will be
    there? So they can’t be about money like any other normal place?

  • PopMom
    July 17, 2019 at 7:07 a.m.

    The one black Republican in the House voted for the measure. To the white guys in Arkansas who are used to most power being in the hands of white men, there is nothing wrong with attacking women of color for their national origins. Disgusting.

  • Illinoisroy
    July 17, 2019 at 7:55 a.m.

    Of course they did. I have noted that some of the more extreme commenters in this forum use the term "normals" when referring to their peers and not sure were this catch phrase comes from? An uber-right wing shock jock must have coined it. Sheep!

  • Skeptic1
    July 17, 2019 at 8:06 a.m.

    If everyone is a racist no one is, the Dems have rendered the term meaningless. They use the label to de-legitimatize anyone that disagrees with their far left and clearly fascist agenda. Four fascists have hijacked the Democrat party forcing the 20 presidential candidates to fight for who can be more far left. Who is telling them this is a winning strategy?

  • GeneralMac
    July 17, 2019 at 8:23 a.m.

    The House "resolution" and 64 cents will get me a senior coffee at McDonalds.

  • einnorray
    July 17, 2019 at 9:03 a.m.

    Racist? The term certainly has a racist history. The term has been Used throughout American History to insult and demean as unAmerican, anyone that was not white. As usual, term was initially applied to Blacks based on America's original sin, Slavery. Then the racism was updated for the Chinese and Japanese and other groups as the need for hate arises. Therefore, based on this history, I am inclined to think that, Maybe racism may be at the core of the issue.

  • hah406
    July 17, 2019 at 9:15 a.m.

    Very good point about the term's history. Even prior to that, it was used against whites who were perceived as "other." Italians, Irish, even the Jewish people seeking to escape pre-WW2 Germany, Poland, etc. The phrase has a profound racial connotation, and to say otherwise is to deny history.

  • lthompso
    July 17, 2019 at 9:17 a.m.

    White Republicans smile as they abuse the meaning of the US Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."