Facing Election Losses, Democrats Cry Racism
As their hold on control of the U.S. Senate becomes more tenuous, high-ranking Democrats -- including the president -- are invoking charges of GOP racism more aggressively.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel told CNN’s Candy Crowley that "not all" Republicans are racist. But “to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism and that’s unfortunate,” he said.
Israel was responding to questions about whether he agreed with comments from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Attorney General Eric Holder that Republicans were acting based on racism
Crowley and other mainstream media journalists are picking up on the racism angle that began after Attorney General Eric Holder charged Republicans with “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity” against he and President Obama.
“What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?” he asked on Thursday. “What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?"
Alberto Gonzalez and John Ashcroft, two attorneys general under President George W. Bush who received relentless criticism from Democrats, might disagree.
President Obama also hinted at racism in the Republican party during his speech at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference, reminding activists of his long-suffering battle over his birth certificate.
"Just to be clear, I know where my birth certificate is," he said, laughing at his own joke. "You remember that? That was crazy. Haven't thought about that in a while."
But that joke served as a launch point to accuse Republicans of restricting the right to vote.
"The real voter fraud is people who try to deny our rights by making bogus arguments about voter fraud," he said as the crowd applauded.
"But it's a fact this recent effort to restrict the vote has not been led by both parties. It's been led by the Republican Party.”
Reporters are picking up on the burst of racial rhetoric from Obama, Holder, Pelosi, and Israel.
During an interview with Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY in New Hampshire over the weekend, ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked if he believed that there was a racial component to the criticism leveled at the president.
“I guess I don’t get into the whole racial thing because I — I can’t even imagine that that is a component for anyone,” Paul said explaining that Republicans don’t like the president’s policies.
“I’ve never heard one person mention race. And so I can’t say nobody has that in their mind,” he said, referring to the Kentucky voters that he representatives. “But I’m saying I’ve never ever heard it.”