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Omar blasts challenger who suggests she’s ‘not attractive enough’ for office

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) blasted her Democratic primary challenger in a post on Wednesday after he seemed to suggest the congresswoman was not “attractive enough” to ignore the concerns of her constituents in comments on a podcast last week.

“This is beneath the dignity of any adult, let alone someone seeking public office,” Omar said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, in response to a post about the podcast.

“It is reminiscent of the worst kinds of lies and misogyny that we are hearing from people like Donald Trump, who think they can say anything about women and get away with it. Like Trump, instead of engaging in an adult debate, @DonSamuelsMN relies on lies and sexism,” she wrote.

“We need civility now more than ever and Don’s behavior should be alarming to anyone who agrees,” she added.

Former Minneapolis city council member Don Samuels, who came just 2,500 votes shy of unseating the congresswoman in the 2022 primary, joined a podcast last week and was asked to elaborate on his past criticism of Omar for not being sufficiently available to the public.

In his response, Samuels recalled serving on the city council, when he encouraged community members to call him up directly with any problem, underscoring his larger point on the need to be responsive to constituents. He said he learned a similar lesson in the private sector.

He continued: “To see government not be responsive like that, to the people that pay them, it is offensive to me. And to not be responsive and available to those people, to meet with them and find out what their concerns are and to answer their tough questions? To not get back to people on the phone?”

“Who do you think you are? And who do you think you’re working for? You’re not cute enough, you don’t dress well enough, nothing about you is attractive enough to overcome that deficit.”

In a subsequent statement to Mother Jones, Samuels said his comments were about “politicians who talk the talk versus walk the walk,” not about Omar specifically.

“In listening to my full answer, it’s abundantly clear that I’m talking broadly about politicians who value their own celebrity over the needs of their constituents,” Samuels said in his statement to the news outlet, adding, “We shouldn’t be surprised Rep. Ilhan Omar saw herself in my response.”

Samuels did not respond immediately to a request for comment from The Hill.

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