Fox News host Jesse Watters appeared to a make a racially insensitive joke about the Democratic representatives who are members of “the Squad” on Thursday. During a guest appearance on Fox & Friends, the anchor was asked by a member of the live audience what he would do if he had the chance to sit down with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).
“First, I’d grab my wallet,” Watters said, eliciting laughter from the audience.
It’s possible that Watters was referring to progressives’ proposals to raise taxes on wealthy Americans, rather than suggesting one of them might be willing to pick-pocket him. But the comment seemed to highlight negative stereotypes of people of color, the morning after President Donald Trump elicited chants of “Send her back!” pointed at Rep. Omar at a widely condemned rally in North Carolina.
Watters went on to explain that he didn’t think he would “get along too well” with the four women.
Trump attacked the four congresswomen in a series of tweets on Sunday, saying they could leave the U.S. and go back to where they’re from even though all of the congresswomen are American citizens. The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to condemn the president’s comments as racist.