Ken Emanuelson, Texas Tea Party Activist, Calls GOP Black Voter Comments 'A Mistake'

06/04/2013 08:49 pm ET | Updated Jun 05, 2013

A Texas Tea Party activist is in hot water over comments charging that the Republican Party doesn't want black people to vote because of tough odds.

Audio posted by Democratic group Battleground Texas on Tuesday has Ken Emanuelson, a leading state Tea Party figure, answering a question about black voters at a May 20 Dallas County GOP event.

“I’m going to be real honest with you,” Emanuelson said. “The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they are going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO (Via Battleground Texas)

Later on Tuesday, Emanuelson backtracked on his remarks, clarifying that it "was a mistake" and nothing more than a "personal opinion."

"I hold no position of authority within the Republican Party and it wasn’t my place to opine on behalf of the desires of the Republican Party," Emanuelson said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “What I meant, and should have said, is that it is not, in my personal opinion, in the interests of the Republican Party to spend its own time and energy working to generally increase the number of Democratic voters at the polls, and at this point in time, nine of every ten African American voters cast their votes for the Democratic Party."

In late April, an analysis conducted by the Associated Press found that black voters surpassed white voters in turnout for the first time during the 2012 election. If rates had stayed at the 2004 level, GOP challenger Mitt Romney would have narrowly defeated President Barack Obama, the AP found.

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