Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has responded to Trump’s racist attacks on her while the rest of her party has silenced him.
For months, Trump has consistently attacked Chao and used open racism against her, and she replied to Politico: “When I was young, some people used to misspell or pronounce my name on purpose. Asian Americans have worked hard to change that experience for the next generation. He doesn’t seem to get that, which says a lot more about him than it ever will say about Asian Americans.”
Unlike Trump’s other attacks on those he considers enemies, his comments on Chao, who is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have not attempted to hide his racist intent.
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The Republican leadership has remained silent on these attacks. Chao has asked reporters not to reinforce Trump’s comments, and possibly for the same reason, Senator McConnell has refused to take a gamble on Trump’s attacks, but nothing is stopping the rest of the Republican Party from denouncing Trump.
The reason Trump is likely to win the Republican nomination in 2024 is because Republicans remain afraid of him and his supporters. They refuse to stand up to Trump. The same dynamics were there in 2016, 2020, 2022, and there’s no sign of them changing in 2024.
Chao is right. Trump’s comments say more about Donald Trump than Asian Americans, and the tacit enabling of these attacks speaks volumes about the Republican Party.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House press pool and congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in political science. His thesis focused on public policy with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association