WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Republicans and Democrats are standing behind U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-MI, after President Donald Trump mocked her late husband, former Congressman John Dingell, the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history.
At a Michigan campaign rally Wednesday night, Trump insinuated John Dingell, a World War II veteran who died earlier this year, could be in hell.
“Maybe he’s looking up,” Trump said at the rally.
But after one of the most divisive days in U.S. history, Dingell says Democrats and Republicans are joining arms to come to her defense.
“I can’t tell you how many of my Republican colleagues have come up to hug me,” she said.
Dingell told CNN Trump’s comments were below the belt.
“My family is still hurting,” she said.
Republicans say the attack against the respected serviceman was unwarranted.
“I think he should apologize,” said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-NC.
But it doesn’t appear an apology is coming.
Tony Sayegh, White House senior advisor for strategy, says Trump’s words aren’t as important as the actions he took to honor the late congressman.
“Look, he ultimately respected the memory,” Sayegh said.
Democrats say the attack is more of the same.
“What the president misunderstands is that cruelty is not wit,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
U.S. Rep Joyce Beatty, D-OH, called the comment “heartbreaking.” U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-IL, called his remarks “very hurtful and terrible.”
A flurry of politicians took to social media to send their prayers and support to the Dingell family.
Dingell says she never anticipated this feud and is hoping, in the end, a lesson of civility is learned.
“Mr. President, we need to work together for the people that you represent, and I represent,” she said.