“There is no grey area here. There is a very clear right and wrong.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, took to the House Floor this afternoon to deliver a sharp rebuke of President Trump’s recent racist comments on Twitter. McGovern’s remarks came ahead of the full House of Representatives voting on H. Res. 489, a resolution to formally condemn President Trump's recent racist comments.
McGovern’s Remarks As Prepared:
I thank the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Raskin, for yielding me the time. I support the rule, but I want to speak on one underlying bill in particular, H. Res. 489.
Mr. Speaker, what we saw this week used to be reserved for the darkest corners of the internet. Some chatroom somewhere where people would be too ashamed to even use their real name when spewing vile rhetoric.
But this isn’t some online troll. We are not talking about using dog whistles or speaking in some kind of secret alt-right code, Mr. Speaker. This is proudly using Twitter as a megaphone to attack fellow Americans.
These are American citizens being turned into some kind of scary “other” - not because of their party, but because of their background, their race, and their opinions.
I have seen this administration carry out some deeply troubling policies. I have heard some deeply offensive things.
And I know I’m not alone in this. Because when the cameras are off and the press isn’t around, my colleagues on the other side have told me the same thing - that they are sickened by what’s going on.
Well, these recent comments are in a completely different category. This type of language isn’t just offensive, it could lead to violence! And it’s corroding our discourse. More sternly worded press releases and disappointed tweets aren’t going to cut it.
The only thing that matters here is votes.
Press statements are not enough. This House needs to speak with unity and vote to condemn the president’s comments for what they are.
I believe in the adage from Maya Angelou: when someone shows you who you are, believe them. And the president told us who he was long before he rode that escalator down to announce his campaign.
It’s time Republicans told the American people with their votes what they whisper to one another in the cloakroom. What many of them have told me behind closed doors. Because this dark worldview is what will be on the ballot.
I implore my colleagues: think twice before you follow the president off a cliff. Our credibility matters. And your credibility matters.
A presidency lasts, at most, just 4 to 8 years. But many of us will get the chance to serve here long after this administration ends. And we’ll have to live with our conscience for a lifetime.
But Silence is an endorsement. Equivocation is an endorsement. Blaming both sides is an endorsement.
There is no grey area here. There is a very clear right and wrong.
Supporting this resolution isn’t about standing with Democrats. It’s about standing up for decency.
The president showed us who he is. Now we have the chance to show the American people who we are.
Now, it’s no secret I have profound policy disagreements with this president. His economic policies favor the rich and his foreign policy ignores human rights. But in all the time I have been alive, I have always respected the office of the president and the occupant. I feel differently now.
I feel embarrassed.
And I feel ashamed.
Let me remind my colleagues - our children are watching us.
Do the right thing.
Do the moral thing.
Condemn President Trump’s hateful and blatantly racist rhetoric.
And I don’t care if it’s out of order, but we need to be clear and we need to call it what it is.
And we need to condemn it. I yield back.