House adopts resolution condemning president after racist attacks

House Democrats and four Republicans voted Tuesday to condemn President Donald Trump's racist tweets, the first congressional condemnation of a president in more than a century.
4:45 | 07/17/19

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Transcript for House adopts resolution condemning president after racist attacks
We go to Washington and that historic and bitter showdown on capitol hill. House Democrats voted last night to condemn president trump's racist tweet, the first congressional condemnation of a president in more than a century. Only four Republicans voted for the resolution as the GOP closed ranks behind the president. Our senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce was on capitol hill for the dramatic confrontation. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: Good morning, George. This was an extremely rare rebuke and quite a scene here on the house floor. A raucous fight exposed those deep partisan divides here on the hill as Democrats voted to send a clear message to the president about those racist tweets and Republicans overwhelmingly voted to defend him. A bitter battle on the house floor. Exposing the sharp partisan I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it and at the highest level of government, there is no room for racism. In those tweets I see nothing that references anybody's race, not a thing. I don't see anyone's name being referenced in the tweets. Reporter: Democrats passing a resolution to condemn president trump's recent attacks against four congresswomen telling them to go back to the countries they came from. These comments from the white house are disgraceful and disgusting and these comments are racist. Reporter: That statement igniting chaos on the floor. I made a point of order that it be taken down. Reporter: Even using the word racist to describe the president's tweets saying it breaks the rules. Ultimately only four Republicans agreed voting to condemn the the women at the center of the controversy say Republicans are putting the president first. They could not bring themselves to have the basic human decency to vote against the statement that the president made on the floor. They're choosing him over Reporter: Trump had urged his party not to, quote, show weakness. Are these attacks good politics? Are they good for Republican. Let's find out. No, I don't think they are. First of all, I don't think they're attacks. They're not attack, him saying you should go back to your country is not an attack? No. Reporter: While most have been hesitant to respond party leaders are falling in line. Mitch Mcconnell breaking his silence refusing to say if the comments were racist and insisting there is plenty of blame to go around. From the president to the speaker to freshmen members of the house all of us have a responsibility to elevate public discourse. Reporter: After this vote one congressman representative, Al green of Texas, took things further introducing articles of impeachment against the president. Now, despite the fact that democratic leaders are opposed to the move it could force them to take up the issue in the coming days. Not something Nancy Pelosi wants. Let's bring in Jon Karl for more. The battle lines getting drawn here right now. The president clearly wants that squad of four democratic congresswomen to be the face of the democratic party. Reporter: These four represent the Progressive left of the party. He wants to basically turn them into his opposition for 200. Just look at his tweet yesterday where he said Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away but now they are forever wedded to the democratic party. In a way it is working rallying around those four and the attacks -- in the wake of the attacks from the president but there is a real risk for the president, because his highest approval ratings are on the handling of the economy, he could be running a presidential re-election campaign based on that age old question, are you better off today than you were four years ago, but instead he's telegraphing an election based on fear, division, racial resentment that will alienate a lot of people that frankly are better or or feel better off than four years ago and by the way a strategy that basically failed in the 2018 midterms. You saw minorities and women come out in record numbers in 2018, young people as well but there are risks for the Democrats here, as well. A lot of the successful Democrats in 2018, moderates who emphasized bread and butter issues like health care. Reporter: Absolutely. These four particularly Alexandria ocasio-cortez are the most famous Democrats, freshmen Democrats, in some cases more well known than the party's presidential candidates, but they are not particularly popular. In some cases very unpopular in those swing districts that won the Democrats their majority in 2018 so, yes, very clearly a risk for the Democrats as well. Jon Karl, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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