Among presidential candidates and party leaders, the more progressive were quicker to defend the Minnesota congresswoman
On Saturday, Donald Trumps attack on the Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar swiftly became something of a litmus test for Democratic politicians, as some of the most progressive 2020 presidential candidates spoke most quickly and forcefully in Omars defense.
Other senior figures, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, were criticized for hedging their responses, condemning the president without mentioning Omars name.
Some declared or likely 2020 contenders, including former Vice-President Joe Biden and New Jersey senator Cory Booker, did not tweet any comment in the 24 hours that followed Trumps tweet on Friday evening of a video which spliced footage from the September 11 terror attacks with edited remarks by Omar, accusing the politician of dismissing the seriousness of the attacks.
Trump was himself following Fox News commentators and Republican politicians who have repeatedly suggested that Omar, a black Muslim women who wears a hijab, is un-American and un-patriotic, and even that her religious beliefs are antithetical to the United States constitution.
Heres a look at how Democratic presidential candidates responded on Friday and Saturday:
First few hours
The first public responses to Trumps attack came from Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, the other Muslim woman in Congress, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman congresswoman from New York, a rising progressive star. Both called on other Democrats to speak out.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, a frontrunner in the 2020 race, released a statement within three hours, praising Omars leadership and calling attacks against her dangerous.
Minutes later, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted an even more strongly worded response, accusing the president of inciting violence against at sitting congresswoman and arguing that any elected leader who refuses to condemn it shares responsibility for the incitement.
Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington State who is focusing his presidential campaign on the risk of climate change, also responded quickly:
California congressman Eric Swalwell, who has entered the 2020 race with a focus on ending gun violence, responded to Trump by writing We WILL forget you and talking about how many buildings would be named after Trump in the future.
Former Texas congressman Beto ORourke shared a general condemnation of Trumps Islamophobia, without mentioning Omars name. On Saturday, he did so.
South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg tweeted a thread of comments criticizing Trumps remarks, talking about the danger of Islamophobia and referencing his own military service in Afghanistan. Criticized for not mentioning Omars name in his first tweet, he referenced her directly later in the thread, in a tweet that posted about 20 minutes after his first one.
I stand with her, Julin Castro, a former San Antonio mayor who later served in the Obama administration, wrote.
Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper called Trumps attack vile and shameful as well as dangerous.
Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar condemned Trump and the threats against Omar while distancing herself from the congresswoman from her home state, writing: You can disagree with her words as I have done before but this video is wrong. Enough.
The author Marianne Williamson chimed in, connecting Trumps attack on Omar to his menacing treatment of Hillary Clinton on the debate stage in 2016.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang talked about Islamophobia but did not directly mention Omar: