‘Outrageous’: Mitch McConnell Slams Critics of His Black Voters Remarks
In SummaryRepublican Senator Mitch McConnell is pushing back against critics who claim he is “racist” following remarks implying that Black votes are un-American.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling the criticism “outrageous” in the wake of public uproar after remarks he made about Black voters, insinuating they were somehow not American.
Following failure to move the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to the Senate floor, McConnell was asked about the concerns of voters of color, BNC previously reported.
“Well, the concerns misplaced,” he responded. “Because, if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”
To many who accused the senator of racism, the remark echoed voting rights campaigners’ concerns that Republicans in state legislatures around the country are attempting to disenfranchise Black voters.
The Associated Press reported McConnell has now stated he “misspoke” when making the remarks and that the allegations against him are “hurtful and offensive.” He further clarified he should have stated “all” before “Americans.”
McConnell defended his voting record on race by claiming to have participated in Rev. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington in 1963 and to have been present when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
“I have had African American speechwriters, schedulers, office managers over the years,” he said, per AP.
In recognition of the late Democratic civil rights leader John R. Lewis, the Voting Rights Advancement Act was enacted in reaction to the Supreme Court weakening the law’s oversight of states that discriminate against Black and other minority voters.
McConnell has long opposed the “unnecessary” bill, per The Hill, repeatedly stating that the voting rights statute is unaffected and standing with other Republicans who refuse to co-sponsor it.
“They co-opted Congressman Lewis’ name, stuck it on a bill that really was not related to the Voting Rights Act … in order to try to achieve a partisan advantage by federalizing election laws,” he said, per AP.