A clear majority of Americans say President Trump’s tweets targeting four minority congresswomen were “un-American,” according to a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll. But most Republicans say they agreed with his comments, an illustration of the nation’s sharp partisan divide on issues of patriotism and race.
More than two-thirds of those aware of the controversy, 68%, called Trump’s tweets offensive. Among Republicans alone, however, 57% said they agreed with tweets that told the congresswomen to go back to their “original” countries, and a third “strongly” agreed with them. All four lawmakers are American citizens; three were born in the United States.
That finding may help explain the reluctance of GOP leaders and most GOP members of Congress to castigate the president for tweets and comments in recent days targeting the congresswomen, outspoken progressives who are among his sharpest critics on Capitol Hill. Only four Republicans joined House Democrats Tuesday in passing a resolution condemning Trump’s comments as “racist.”
The poll showed the degree to which the United States remains a nation of immigrants. Forty-one percent said that they had a parent or grandparent who had immigrated from another country, or that they himself had done so. There was virtually no partisan difference on that question: 45% of Democrats, 43% of Republicans.