Rep. Steve Israel said on a Sunday talk show that “to a significant extent, the Republican base has elements that are animated by racism, and that’s unfortunate.”
The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made these remarks to CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union,” when discussing whether race played a role in the Republican party’s opposition to immigration reform in Congress.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives has not acted on a sweeping immigration reform bill that passed the senate last year.
Earlier in the week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a news conference that she thought race was a factor in Republicans not “bringing up an immigration bill. I've heard them say to the Irish, if it were just you this would be easy.”
On “State of the Union” Sunday, Crowley asked, “Do you think your Republican colleagues are racist?”
“Not all of them, no, of course not,” Israel said.
When asked by Crowley whether racism played a role, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee Greg Walden, who was also a guest on the show, responded, “That is both wrong and unfortunate.”
Do you think racism is a factor in the debate on immigration reform? Tell us in the comments.