On Sunday, U.S. Senate candidate and California Attorney General Kamala Harris blasted her opponent, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), for statements concerning Muslims and terrorism.
Sanchez, appearing on PoliticKING with Larry King in early December, said:
We know that there is a small group, and we don’t know how big that is — it can be anywhere between 5 and 20 percent, from the people that I speak to — that Islam is their religion and who have a desire for a caliphate and to institute that in any way possible. They are not content enough to have their way of looking at the world, they want to put their way on everybody in the world. And again, I don’t know how big that is, and depending on who you talk to, but they are certainly — they are willing to go to extremes. They are willing to use and they do use terrorism.”
The Sacramento Bee quoted Harris insinuating that her challenger was racist, insisting, “Let’s just call it what it is. This is a climate that is ripe for scapegoating,” she said. “And leaders don’t scapegoat.”
Yet Sanchez, who serves on the Homeland Security Committee, said her figures were based on expert research; and statistics bear her out.
The most recent Field Poll shows Harris with a twelve-point lead over Sanchez, 27% to 15%, with Harris’ support strongly concentrated in the Bay Area and Sanchez leading among Latinos. A November poll found 63% of Latinos did not want the U.S. to accept Syrian refugees.