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
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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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