Bret Baier: Anti-Omar chant ‘raised eyebrows;’ Republicans should put focus on policies not personalities

If Republicans are going to pivot after President Trump’s latest firestorm against the progressive Democratic “squad” they will have to turn their focus to policies rather than personalities, “Special Report” host Bret Baier said Thursday.

Appearing on “America’s Newsroom” with anchor Bill Hemmer, Baier said that Wednesday’s 2020 re-election campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina was “vigorous.” He also told Hemmer the more than 75 minutes of “stream-of-consciousness talk” was “classic Trump.”

However, Baier noted the moment the crowd broke out in a chant: “Send her back! Send her back!”

‘The chant -- that was not led obviously from the podium but, it was in the hall -- raised a lot of eyebrows definitely,” Baier said.

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The chant, which the president did not acknowledge, referred to the president’s twitterstorm on Sunday. He asked why unnamed “Democrat Congresswomen” don’t "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came, then come back and show us how it is done."

The president later confirmed that his tweets were directed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. All but Omar were born in the United States.

After a historic floor fight, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives formally condemned Trump's comments on Tuesday.

Reaction poured in an all sides.

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In response to the chants, Omar quoted civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou on Twitter: "You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise."

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent out a tweet saying, "those scared for our future: we can get through this better than we started."

2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris, D-Calif., wrote on Twitter:  "It’s vile. It’s cowardly. It’s xenophobic. It’s racist. It defiles the office of the President. And I won't share it here. It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country."

On the other side of the aisle, Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro called the moment "vile," even as he reiterated that Omar's previous remarks were deserving of criticism.

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“Guy Benson Show” host Guy Benson echoed that sentiment, writing, "'Send her back' is an appalling chant. Omar is a US citizen. My less-catchy chant would be: 'Condemn her bigotry, combat her radicalism, and investigate her seriously alleged fraud!'"

Earlier on “America’s Newsroom”, Senator Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told Hemmer that he thought the president “did a good job of trying to cut through some of the media obfuscations and make a case to the American people."

“They’ve said a lot. The president has tweeted and said a lot,” Baier remarked. “And, now this crowd has said a lot that I think you heard the Senate Majority Leader say the rhetoric needs to be tamped down.”

“Now, those four votes have an oversized play in the Democratic perception, or the perception of Democrats up on Capitol Hill, after four constant days of coverage,” said Baier.

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Two days after President Donald Trump attacked four Democratic congresswomen, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that "the tone of all of this is not good for the country.”

McConnell told reporters at a weekly press conference: “I think there’s a consensus that political rhetoric has gotten way, way overheated all across the political spectrum.”

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On "America's Newsroom," Hemmer asked Baier about Representative Liz Cheney’s suggestion to stick to opposing the “dangerous” content of their policies.

Baier said: “It has to if the Republicans are going to turn this around to their benefit."

“I think the president has his own ability to be kind of Teflon when it comes to the things he says or tweets because of his past and how he’s dealt with things in the past. The Republican Party though -- especially for vulnerable members who are up for re-election—they desperately want the president to turn to policy quickly.”