WASHINGTON - Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez of Chicago is one of a handful of congressmen who won’t be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump.
He says his protest follows months of comments by the president-elect – comments that Gutierrez says are unacceptable.
WHY HE WON'T ATTEND
"You know, I said to my wife, I really don't feel comfortable standing next to a man as he swears allegiance to this country and president of the United States of America, after he said that Mexicans are murderers, rapists, drug dealers and that that's all we are," Gutierrez told FOX's 5 Steve Chenevey Friday on FOX 5 News Morning.
"I just can't un-hear the despicable, terrible things he said about women, about Muslims, so I won't be standing."
He will be in D.C. on Inauguration Day but will not be in the inauguration aisles.
RESPECT THE OFFICE
A member of Congress for 24-years, Gutierrez has been to every inauguration since coming to Washington, D.C.
"When I went to George Bush’s inauguration I didn’t feel he was a threat to my presence in American, to my daughter's presence in American," he said. “I want to look at my girls in the face and say, I didn't normalize that kind of speech."
Elected officials need to earn the respect of the people, something he says, Trump has not done. "So, Donald, you want me to stand by you? Next to you? Earn the respect of women of Latinos."
A conversation Gutierrez said he had with his 13-year-old grandson made him realize that he could not go to the inauguration. "I asked him who are you? How do you feel, Louis?" Gutierrez told Chenevey. "He said in this arm I feel really, really Mexican – because his dad is from Mexico – in this hand I feel really Puerto Rican – because of his mom and grandpa – and then he put his hand over his heart and said I feel 100 percent American."
"I can't stand next to a president who defines my beautiful grandson."
WILL WORK TOGETHER
Gutierrez says his protest of Trump's inauguration won’t get in the way of him working with Republicans during his administration. He told Chenevey that he will continue to work on bi-partisan bills with all lawmakers like he has done in the past.
"I have a clear history of working with George Bush and working with republicans. This man is different, and until he demonstrates to me that he's going to respect women, that he's going to respect religions and religious tolerance in this country, I'll just skip."
Gutierrez says he is open to meeting with Trump and will be in Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day. "If the president says we need to come down and meet, I'll go down and meet with him. But I won't stand at the inauguration."
Gutierrez told Chenevey that he will be attending the Women’s March on January 21.