Minnesota ‘Squad’ member says Trump attack on her during campaign was a mistake

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Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar said Thursday that President Trump “effed around” in attacking her as a way to win over the state’s voters in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump had high hopes to win the state, which has now voted blue for the last 48 years since the state elected former President Richard Nixon in 1974, and centered his Minnesota campaign in part on criticizing Omar. 

“He ‘effed’ around and found out, I guess,” Omar said on The Intercept’s “Deconstructed” podcast in response to a question about why she thought Trump lost Minnesota after claiming he would win the state because of her. “I’ve always said this: You get what you organize for. And we’ve been massively organizing our state, our district, for this turnout.”

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., addresses students at the University of Minnesota on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., addresses students at the University of Minnesota on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

It’s not the first time the freshman congresswoman and Somali refugee, who won reelection on Tuesday, has pushed back against the president’s comments about her made during rallies.

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“She’s telling us how to run our country,” Trump told supporters at a Sept. 22 rally in Moon Township, Pa., after saying he expected Omar to increase his chances at winning Minnesota. “How did you do where you came from? How was your country doing?” he said at the time, likely in reference to Omar’s background from Somalia. 

The congresswoman reacted on Twitter, saying the U.S. is her country, and she is “a member of the House that impeached” him. 

“The reason so many Republicans were donating and investing in me having a primary challenger was to put a damper on our organizing ability, and they had this long term strategy to wear us out,” she said.

Omar also rejected claims that Americans’ rejection of socialist policies contributed to the Democratic Party’s disappointing 2020 House election results. Democrats were expected to gain 10 seats but have since lost six; the Party now holds 214 seats while Republicans hold 202; 19 congressional races remain in limbo as states continue counting ballots.

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“There is an autopsy that clearly has to get done. You’ll hear from people who say, ‘Oh, it was the talk of socialism,’ and it was this and it was that, but many of the places that we lost seats in or Biden didn’t do so well in were places where Obama won, and [Republicans] threw so much at him.”

She added that Obama had a “ground game” and built relationships in places where some of the Democrats in the districts that the former president won did not. 

President Donald Trump throws hats to supporters after speaking at a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minn. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

President Donald Trump throws hats to supporters after speaking at a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minn. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Democratic members of Congress hosted a Thursday phone call in which they blamed the push for progressive policies such as the Green New Deal and reducing police funding for the party’s 2020 congressional election losses.

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Omar is one of four progressive congresswomen who refer to themselves as “The Squad” including New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. 

Ocasio-Cortez also rejected the narrative that a push for progressive policies like “Medicare for All” and the “Green New Deal” lead to Democrats’ performance in this year’s election, blaming losses on a lack of digital outreach and spending instead.

“There are swing-seat Dem incumbents who cosponsored the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, etc., and if I’m not mistaken, every single one won re-election,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “So the whole ‘progressivism is bad’ argument just doesn’t have any compelling evidence that I’ve seen. When it comes to ‘Defund’ & ‘Socialism’ attacks, people need to realize these are racial resentment attacks.”

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