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Tipsheet

Byron Donalds, Dan Bishop Respond to Cori Bush's Vile Insults

Jason Andrew/The New York Times via AP, Pool

This article has been updated to include Rep. Dan Bishop's (R-NC) nomination speech for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) on Thursday afternoon. 

The profile for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) has certainly picked up in recent days, as he has emerged as an alternative to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for speaker. His nomination, as well as the nomination of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), whom Democrats have been completely unified behind, is historic in that either of them would be the first black Speaker of the House. To squad member Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), however, Donalds' nomination is only "not progress," it's pathetic," and Donalds "is a prop." The congressman, after having been called out and tagged on Twitter, has since responded to the charges.

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Donalds aptly tweeted how "nobody asked @CoriBush her opinion on the matter," tagging her as she had tagged him. Not only have Democrats remained unified in supporting Jeffries, they've also inappropriately gloated over the drawn-out process of picking a speaker. "Before you judge my agenda, let's have a debate over the policies and the outcomes. Until then, don't be a crab in a barrel!," he added. 

On Thursday morning, the congressman's press account also shared a clip of him speaking to Fox Business' Stuart Varney on "Varney & Co," during which he was asked to respond. Donalds called the tweet "blatantly outrageous" and "that sucks, to be honest with you, man." He added that "I feel bad that she really put that out there because you know, if you see a back man rising, I mean, let the man rise, even if you don't agree with him."

Donalds also repeated calls for Bush to be willing to debate him, raising possibilities of "Varney & Co," but also potentially other networks, such as CNN and MSNBC. "I'm open to all of that," he made clear.

Stressing that Bush's comments were "the complete wrong thing to do," he added that "as a black man to a black woman, I would have never done that to her, it's a shame that you did that to me."

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He brought in race, but to say that "As a Black man to a Black woman, I’d never do that to you," calling it "a shame you did it to me."

Since the initial tweet, Bush has doubled down on being shameless about such a shameful take, as well as highlighted her poor sense of priorities. She retweeted HuffPost's Akbar Shahid Ahmed, who shared a piece from him and his colleague, Arthur Delaney.  

As Ahmed and Delaney write:

But Bush noted on Twitter that GOP policies offer little else to combat racism and structural inequities. “Despite being Black, [Donalds] supports a policy agenda intent on upholding and perpetuating white supremacy,” the Missouri Democrat argued.

She later expanded on her comments ― and conservative pushback to her tweet ― to HuffPost.

“My issue is not with Byron Donalds himself. My issue is not with him being Black. My issue is not with him being Republican. My issue is because he was not someone that they have been promoting for the last two years,” Bush said.

...

The congresswoman noted that in claiming to be sincerely promoting Donalds, GOP lawmakers spoke about his niceness, background ― like Jeffries, Donalds is from New York ― and his past struggles.

“It seems as if they’re using him as a prop, as a tool, not because they think that he’s great, that he’s done all of these things to lead them,” Bush said. “I don’t like that they’re using him that way. I don’t want them to use him that way. And I want him to understand: They’re only using you... don’t let them do that to you. Make them treat you with dignity and respect.”

She continued: “To hear Chip Roy stand up and say this is not about color ... it absolutely 100% is because if you were nominating him on his worth and merit, I think none of us would have been surprised because we would have seen him do leadership things.” 

The congresswoman deflected conservative criticism of her remarks.

“I’m glad they took offense because it shows their lack of knowledge. It shows how ignorant they are. I need them to read up and understand what white supremacy is, what it looks like, and what the patriarchal system looks like,” Bush added.

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With such tweets that Bush has doubled down on, it's hard to believe that her issue is not with Donalds and that he dares to be a black Republican who has different views from her. 

The piece goes on to rant and rave about Donalds being a "hardcore supporter" of former and potentially future President Donald Trump, who has called on Republicans to support McCarthy for speaker. 

Donalds was again nominated for speaker on the seventh round by Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), who addressed Bush's remarks. Revealing that "I've spent a good bit of time with Mr. Donalds, especially lately," Bishop declared "he ain't no prop," earning applause and a standing ovation. "And if he were a prop, he wouldn't be sittin' where he's sittin,'" he also said. "This is the tired, old, grotesquely racist rhetoric that we’ve seen far too long," Bishop said, as the camera panned to Bush smirking in her seat.  

Later in the nominating speech, he also made clear that Donalds "is not a prop" and "is a man of personal conviction."

"Cori Bush" and "Byron Donalds" are now trending over Twitter as a result of the exchange. 

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The congressman and potentially future speaker has remained overall resilient in the midst of chaos. As Leah highlighted earlier on Thursday, when asked by reporters if he was "worried about retribution," he made clear he is not. "Man, I'm 6'2", 275, I'm not worried about that," he responded.

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