Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told a group of Hispanic activists Tuesday, "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK? Do I need to say more?"
Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, who was born in Puerto Rico,
joined other Hispanic Republicans in condemning Reid and asked Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick to do the same.
A Minnick spokesman said Minnick "absolutely" believes Hispanics can be Republicans, but stopped short of condemning Reid.
In a news release, Labrador said:
“I cannot believe an elected leader of Harry Reid’s stature can continue to make racist comments about huge numbers of Americans," Labrador said in a news release. "Harry Reid’s latest race-baited comments are simply unacceptable to all members of the Hispanic community. Denigrating the entire Republican Hispanic community, including myself, is simply outrageous. Contrary to Senator Reid’s beliefs, the Latino community is perfectly capable of making choices of political affiliation that are in its best interests, including being Republicans.
“Statements such as these prove the message of the Democrat Party as one of inclusiveness and tolerance is nothing more than cynical political posturing. I expect the Democrat Party that continues to keep Reid in a position of Leadership to denounce his statements and I fully expect my opponent Walt Minnick to condemn these terrible comments immediately.”
Minnick campaign manager John Foster told the Statesman: "Walt believes that all Idahoans should choose the political party which suits their beliefs and the candidate best suited to do the job."
Asked if Minnick would condemn Reid, Foster said Labrador, who lives in Eagle, is the only constituent who has complained. "Just because Raul issues an attack doesn't mean we jump. I'm sure if the congressman hears more about this he'll consider saying something."
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