“The Squad” is selling swag in the midst of its clash with President Trump.
The four progressive congresswomen told by Trump to “go back” to their countries — New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib — began fundraising this week off their oft-used nickname, “the Squad.”
Their $25 “We are the Squad” T-shirt, available in black or white, is sold through the progressive small-dollar fundraising platform ActBlue. The $25 divides evenly across the foursome, with the option to add an additional contribution.
See also: Trump-branded straws sold as alternative to ‘liberal’ paper version
“The Squad has never been just four people,” reads a description. “Our Squad is everyone who recognizes the cruelty and bigotry of this Administration, and is committed to advocating, legislating, and working every day for a more just and equitable world.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s team encouraged supporters in an email Tuesday night to “Buy a shirt, support the Squad!”
Also see: At rally, Trump derides Democratic congresswomen as crowd roars, ‘Send her back!’
Trump appeared to help unite a fragmented Democratic Party last weekend in opposition to his Twitter
tirade by telling the four congresswomen to “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” despite three of them having been born in the U.S. and the fourth being an American citizen who immigrated here as a child.
The four women responded with a press conference Monday criticizing the president’s immigration policies and history of inflammatory remarks about minorities. The Democrat-led House voted almost wholly along partisan lines Tuesday to condemn Trump’s remarks as “racist.”
Trump, for his part, has doubled down on the sentiment but insisted his tweets were “NOT Racist” and that he doesn’t “have a Racist bone in my body.”
The quartet became known as “the Squad” possibly after Ocasio-Cortez, then a representative-elect, shared a photo of the four women during new-member orientation in November captioned with the word “Squad.”
The nickname gained new prominence this week as their spat with Trump took center stage, and the four have since used the term to draw like-minded people into their fold. “Our Squad is big,” Pressley said during their press conference.
The “Squad” shirt marked the latest instance of politicians capitalizing on a real or perceived slight to sell merch.
In 2016, then-candidate Trump sold shirts emblazoned with the phrase “I am a deplorable” after his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton said at a fundraiser, “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.”
2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) last month started selling totes bearing the slogan “Frankly, not very polite,” based on Fox News anchor Chris Wallace’s response to her criticizing the network during a Fox-hosted town hall. (Fox News shares common ownership with MarketWatch parent company News Corp
Fellow presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), meanwhile, sells several “persist”-branded items, including a “Persist responsibly” pint glass and a “Pint-sized persister” onesie, on her website — a reference to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) now-infamous “Nevertheless, she persisted” admonishment of Warren on the Senate floor in 2017.
Cynthia Nixon sold “Unqualified lesbian” buttons during her unsuccessful 2018 New York gubernatorial campaign after former New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn, a lesbian, lobbed the insult. (Nixon has resisted labeling her sexuality, and Quinn later walked back the comment.) And two years earlier, Clinton plugged a “Nasty woman” shirt in support of Planned Parenthood after Trump branded her “such a nasty woman” during their third presidential debate.
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