WASHINGTON — Rep. Luis Gutierrez, one of dozens of Democratic lawmakers who boycotted Donald Trump’s inauguration, said Saturday that the new president has not yet earned his respect.
“Donald Trump has to earn my respect, has to earn my being reciprocal,” the Illinois lawmaker told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “When he spoke yesterday and said ‘America First,’ did he include me? Did he include my grandsons?”
More than 50 Democratic lawmakers boycotted Trump’s inauguration. Some promised to participate in anti-Trump demonstrations around the country.
Trump called for unity Friday in his inauguration speech.
“It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: That whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag,” he said.
But Gutierrez said Trump’s calls for nationalism weren’t inclusive.
“That’s not the way it felt yesterday. Yesterday it felt different,” he told Blitzer.
Democrats and immigrant rights activists criticized Trump during the presidential campaign for his views on immigration and his rhetoric about Hispanics. In the speech launching his bid, he called some Mexican immigrants murderers and rapists.
Gutierrez, who is participating in Saturday’s women’s march, is calling on Trump to have more respect for the issues that impact historically marginalized groups.
“I’m going to help the American people by marching with my wife today in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “We have to stand up first for the foundation of our democracy.”