'A failure in judgment by every single Republican leader': Ex-GOP congressman scorches Trump's racism
Former GOP Rep. David Jolly

On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) laid into his erstwhile party for its embrace of President Donald Trump's racial hatred and intolerance, as exemplified by the crowd of Trump rallygoers in Greenville, North Carolina chanting "Send Her Back!" of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).


"It was heartbreaking," said Jolly, who renounced the Republican Party and became an independent last year. "In terms of what I felt, it was heartbreak, both last night and then to see the likes of Lindsey Graham [(R-SC)] today suggest that the only problem is Omar doesn’t wear a MAGA hat. If refugees would just wear MAGA hats, they could stay. The others deserve to go."

"My concern, though, and you’re seeing the president move away from this. We can’t forget that he single-handedly injected this poison into the mainstream of American politics. It is his fault. But you’re going to see Republicans devolve to love it or leave it. And in many ways I think it’s just as dangerous or more so than the chant “Send Her Back.” Love it or leave it suggests that you must agree with political leadership. It is anathema to everything this nation is founded on. Suggesting that Representative Omar must agree with an administration policy of putting kids in cages, or agree with injecting greater insecurity on the world stage, or agree with the president criminally obstructing justice in the Mueller investigation, or criminally engaging in campaign finance violations. And if she fails to agree, then she must leave."

"Her oath that she took was to the Constitution in the early 1990s, not to the president," said Jolly. "And the Founders envisioned exactly her political dissent when they wrote into that Constitution protections of her freedom. And it was very much the president’s behavior this week that our Founders feared when they wrote Representative Omar’s protections into the Constitution."

"Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, in attacking her ideology, but moving it to her race and to her status, they have taken their foe and turned her into a hero tonight," added McCarthy. "Omar and I come from different political journeys, but we walk the same road. And God bless Representative Omar tonight, because she is a hero in the American lexicon tonight as a result of what Donald Trump has tried to do to her."

"There is always this hope among certain people the fever breaks," said anchor Chris Hayes. "That’s a term Barack Obama used to use in interviews, David. And I think people think about the McCarthy moment — at long last, have you no decency? The air comes out of the balloon, he dies, sort of. Do you see that happening?

"I don’t, because what happened last night was an irresponsible leader met a xenophobic constituency," said Jolly. That constituency will be there. And this president will always now empower that constituency. And the likes of Lindsey Graham will seek the embrace of Donald Trump for their own political protection. I wish I saw the fever breaking. If so, I may not have left."

"My personal decision is in part informed by the fact that I will never trust these Republican leaders again, because we get to assess the judgment of our elected leaders, Chris," added Jolly. "You often talk about your assessment of the Bush administration’s decisions around the Gulf War and decisions going into Iraq. We are faced with a political crisis in Donald Trump, and we have seen a failure in judgment by every single Republican leader that has fallen in line. I will never trust them again, nor should the American people. So it will never be a coalition in which I will find a trustful embrace going forward."

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