Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) doesn't think that the hardline stance Republicans have taken on immigration could hurt the party’s standing with Hispanic voters. Instead, he thinks Democrats are hurting their prospects with white voters.
“This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else,” he said during an interview Monday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. "It's part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things. Well that’s not true.”
Brooks was responding to comments made by National Journal's Ron Fournier, who told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday that "the fastest growing voting bloc in this country thinks the Republican Party hates them. This party, your party, cannot be the party of the future beyond November if you’re seen as the party of white people.”
Brooks responded by saying that all demographic groups in America support securing the nation’s border and a wide range of Americans would be affected by an influx of undocumented immigration.
“It doesn't make any difference if you're a white American, a black American, a Hispanic American, an Asian American or if you're a woman or a man. Every single demographic group is hurt by falling wages and lost jobs,” he said.
“Democrats, they have to demagogue on this and try and turn it into a racial issue, which is an emotional issue, rather than a thoughtful issue," he added. "If it becomes a thoughtful issue, then we win and we win big. And they lose and they lose big.”
Ingraham didn't seem to be on board with Brooks' "war on whites" remark, telling him it was "a little out there."
This piece has been updated.
UPDATE: 3:36 p.m. -- During a Twitter Q&A Monday, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) called Brooks' comments "asinine."
.@jbendery One of the most asinine statements I've heard, and I've been around a bit.
— John Dingell (@john_dingell) August 4, 2014
In a statement to AL.com, Brooks responded to the controversy around his remarks:
"As best I can in the time limitations I have, I try to make sure people understand what the Democrats are doing by raising race as an issue every chance they get," he said. "It's much like the congressmen during the (immigration) debate on Friday: Democrat after Democrat was talking racism and race. And the motivation for their doing so was to try to cause bloc voters of race to vote solely on skin color.
"I'm one of those who does not believe in racism and I believe everyone should be treated equally as American citizens. It's high time folks started calling out the Democrats for their racial appeals. Certainly if you were to flip the coin and a white person were to say vote for me because I'm white, it would be an uproar and deservedly so. So why do we allow blacks to say vote for me because I'm black or Hispanics vote for me because I'm Hispanic? Race is immaterial and everybody ought to be treated the same."