Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to say if it would be racist to tell his immigrant wife to go back to her native country in response to questions from reporters about President Trump’s racist attacks telling a group of minority congresswomen to go back to the “totally broken and crime infested places” they came from.
CNN’s Manu Raju asked McConnell during a press conference on Tuesday whether he’d consider it racist if someone told his wife, Taiwan-born Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, to go back to the country she was born in.
“You’re married to an immigrant who’s a naturalized U.S. citizen. If someone was to tell her she should go back to her country because of her criticism of federal policy, wouldn’t you consider that a racist attack?” Raju asked.
McConnell avoided answering the question, telling Raju: “The Secretary of Transportation came here at age 8, legally, not speaking a word of English, and has realized the American dream.”
Raju again asked if Trump’s comments were racist.
McConnell instead talked about legal immigration and the “fulfilling of the American dream.”
“As I said, legal immigration has been a fulfilling American dream,” McConnell replied. “The new people who come here have a lot of ambition, a lot of energy, tend to do very well and invigorate our country. My wife’s a good example of that.”
McConnell also dismissed accusations that the president is a racist, telling reporters that Trump is “not a racist.”
“I think the tone of all of this is not good for the country but it’s coming from all different ideological points of view. To single out any segment of this I think is a mistake,” he added.