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Mitch McConnell Refuses To Discuss Tea Party Racism: 'I Have Got Better Things To Do'

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused on Sunday to wade into the recent debate between the NAACP and the Tea Party over alleged racism within the conservative movement.

At their annual meeting in Kansas City last week the NAACP, the nation's largest civil rights organization, accused the Tea Party of harboring racist elements and called on leaders of the movement to "repudiate" those elements. Tea Party representatives and allies rejected the accusation.

And in an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley on Sunday McConnell (R-Ky.) decided not to get involved.

"I am not interested in getting into that debate," he said. "What we are interested in is trying to have an election this fall that will respond to what the American people are asking us to do, which is to have some checks and balances here."

When pressed by Crowley about some of the more overt symbols of racism, like the now infamous protest signs, coming from Tea Party supporters, McConnell doubled down.

"Look, there are all kinds of things going on in America that make me uncomfortable, both on the right and on the left," the minority leader said. "I have got better things to do than to wade in to all of these disputes and discussions that are going on out in the country."

Here's the full excerpt of McConnell's exchange with Crowley from CNN:

CROWLEY: Do you think that there are racist elements in the tea party?

MCCONNELL: Oh my goodness, in the whole country, is there racism?

CROWLEY: Well, as you know, this weekend, NAACP said that the tea -- there are racist elements in the tea party.

MCCONNELL: I am not interested in getting into that debate. What we are interested in is trying to have an election this fall that will respond to what the American people are asking us to do, which is to have some checks and balances here.

They have seen big government on full display for a year-and-a- half. They are appalled. They would like for it to stop. And the best way for it to stop is to have a mid-course correction, which is not unusual in American politics, and I am hoping that is what is coming this fall.

CROWLEY: Nothing that you have seen on TV, including some of the signs that we've seen, albeit the minority at some of these tea party rallies, some of the posters that have been put up in the name of some factions of the tea party make you the least bit uncomfortable?

MCCONNELL: Look, there are all kinds of things going on in America that make me uncomfortable, both on the right and on the left. I have got better things to do than to wade in to all of these disputes and discussions that are going on out in the country. What we are trying to do is to make the president a born again moderate.

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