In the run up to the 3 November election in the United States, the Trump campaign has been trying its hardest to woo Indian-Americans – an electorate that may prove to be pivotal in swing states.
But during the final presidential debate, Trump stated, “Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy. I walked out of the Paris Accord as we had to take out trillions of dollars and we were treated very unfairly.”
President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord – a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets – was a major blow to the global response to the climate crisis.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said regretted the “unfortunate comments” made by the US leader and added that India stands committed to climate change goals.
What an unfortunate comment to make about India, @realDonaldTrump .
Reminder: India stands committed to climate change goals, US chose to withdraw, much against the wishes of many Americans. Thank you.
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) October 23, 2020
In 2017, Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a global agreement in which President Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama had played a key role. The Paris climate accord aims to cap global warming “well below” two degrees Celsius.
Mr Trump’s remarks come days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper visit New Delhi for talks on building the growing US-India partnership. The US President has repeatedly blamed countries like India and China for not doing enough on climate change.
India is the fourth highest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, accounting for 7 per cent of global emissions in 2017, according to the projection by the Global Carbon Project published in December, 2018.
Netizens immediately took to Twitter, mocking and expressing dissatisfaction towards Trump’s statement.
Trump looks FILTHY
— Ben Meiselas (@meiselasb) October 23, 2020
Thank you sanghis, never ever a world leader, even an idiot, raised his tongue to defame India, when you promote bovine excrement as divine , people will call you filthy, simple … https://t.co/re23UBO96O
— Rashmi 🌹#AntiFascist☭ (@Ras_hmi_Tweet) October 23, 2020
Ooh attacking India as filthy when your opponent’s ticket has the first Indian American woman running for national office 👀
— Dawn Summers (@FakeDawnSummers) October 23, 2020
@realDonaldTrump: Look at India. It’s filthy.
Way to win over the Indian American vote!
— George Mathew (@GeorgeMathew) October 23, 2020
DJT on India .. "the air is filthy"
Half of my most enthusiastic followers . pic.twitter.com/t1kQpXnzx4
— Markos81 (@Markos81a) October 23, 2020
— DHOOPASHWINI (@DhoopAshwini) October 23, 2020
Donald Trump does not deserve the Indian American vote. Says India is “filthy”. Thought Modi was your best buddy? #Debates2020
— The Gem in I 💎 (@geminiology) October 23, 2020
Survey after survey has shown that the Indian-American vote leans heavily towards the democrats, despite Modi and Trump’s displayed bonhomie.
Will this statement only hurt the Trump campaign further? Only time will tell.