It’s Not Just Obama: Brooks Now Says GOP Is Waging ‘War on Whites’

Alabama Republican is proud of his “hyperbole,” as RNC issues chilly reaction.

Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama. (Getty)
National Journal
Ron Fournier
Aug. 6, 2014, 6:30 a.m.

It’s not just the Demo­crats. The Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee is en­ga­ging in a “war on whites,” GOP Rep. Mo Brooks sug­ges­ted today, while ex­press­ing pride for coin­ing the ra­cially charged “hy­per­bole.”

In a joint ap­pear­ance on Dale Jack­son’s talk-ra­dio show based in Hunts­ville, Ala., I read Brooks a para­graph from the Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee’s post­mortem ana­lys­is of the 2012 elec­tion. I iden­ti­fied the source, and ex­plained to Brooks that the pas­sage echoed a state­ment I made on Fox News Sunday that he had mis­char­ac­ter­ized as part of the Demo­crat­ic Party’s “war on whites.”

If His­pan­ic Amer­ic­ans per­ceive that a GOP nom­in­ee or can­did­ate does not want them in the United States (i.e., self-de­port­a­tion), they will not pay at­ten­tion to our next sen­tence. It does not mat­ter what we say about edu­ca­tion, jobs, or the eco­nomy; if His­pan­ics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.

Brooks replied, “By golly, we should not be di­vid­ing people as you just have in your com­ment­ary by race, by na­tion­al­ity, rather we should talk about “¦”  

I in­ter­rup­ted. “That was not my quote. That was your party’s quote. That’s the RNC “¦”

Brooks cut me off. “I don’t care that you made the state­ment or some­body else made the state­ment that triggered my re­marks, but that state­ment — that ar­gu­ment — is play­ing hand in glove with the Demo­crat­ic race-bait­ing strategy, and it has to come to a stop.”

Brooks’s jab got a chilly re­cep­tion at the RNC. Spokes­man Sean Spicer emailed, “We are on the right side of the is­sues, but as the re­port noted we have to take our mes­sage to every com­munity in Amer­ica.”

Brooks would be happy to know the RNC’s ef­fort to ap­peal to His­pan­ics es­sen­tially stopped after the re­lease of its wa­ter­shed re­port, the work of GOP Chair­man Re­ince Priebus and a hand­ful of oth­er party lead­ers who in­ter­viewed more than 2,600 fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans na­tion­wide.

The so-called autopsy, of­fi­cially called the “RNC Growth Op­por­tun­ity Book 2013,”  notes that oth­er minor­ity groups con­sider the GOP un­wel­com­ing, and cata­logues the steep de­cline in sup­port since Pres­id­ent George W. Bush earned 44 per­cent of the His­pan­ic vote. “As one con­ser­vat­ive, tea-party lead­er, Dick Armey, told us, ‘You can’t call someone ugly and ex­pect them to go to the prom with you. We’ve chased the His­pan­ic voter out of his nat­ur­al home.’ “

Not only did Brooks dis­miss the idea of ap­peal­ing to His­pan­ics, he said do­ing so was di­vis­ive, and he chal­lenged me to “name a politi­cian” who does so. I said, for starters, Bush, the former Texas gov­ernor and pres­id­ent, a Re­pub­lic­an who aimed rhet­or­ic and po­lices to­ward the His­pan­ic com­munity, and was re­war­ded for do­ing so.

I then asked Brooks if he thought the Pres­id­ent Obama was a big­ot. I don’t think he dir­ectly answered the ques­tion; there was a lot of crosstalk. This much I heard:

Demo­crats have a strategy to ap­peal to blacks based on race. The Demo­crats, as evid­enced by Nancy Pelosi’s com­ment re­cently, [are] also ap­peal­ing to Asi­an-Amer­ic­ans based on race. Now, to ap­peal to people based on race, there has to be a vic­tim race. Well, if there’s go­ing to be a vic­tim race, there also has to be an op­press­or race, so by in­fer­ence the Demo­crats are say­ing that the op­press­or race is the Caucasi­an race. “Oth­er­wise, there is no ra­cism. And it’s wrong what the Demo­crats are do­ing, and I hope you feel that it is as re­pug­nant as I do.

Throughout the ap­pear­ance, I told Brooks that both parties ap­peal to ra­cial blocs, and have done so throughout his­tory, but that phrases like his “war on whites” and the Demo­crat­ic Party’s “war on wo­men” are hy­per­bol­ic and di­vis­ive. At the top of the in­ter­view, Brooks ad­dressed that last point.

“I used hy­per­bole that forced the me­dia to cov­er it. Quite frankly, it got more cov­er­age than I thought pos­sible, and what is the “it”? The “it” is that the Demo­crats have in­ten­tion­ally en­gaged in a polit­ic­al strategy to di­vide Amer­ica based on race, and they’re im­ple­ment­ing that strategy. I nev­er thought that we would get that kind of ex­pos­ure.”¦ I’m very, very pleased that the Amer­ic­an people now have this as a dis­course.”

He is ac­tu­ally proud of him­self.

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