- Mitch McConnell said “it’s nonsense” to call him out over his remarks about African-American voters.
- McConnell’s office previously said he misspoke when he apparently suggested that African-Americans and Americans may be in separate categories.
- “I’m also an American!” one top Democrat wrote on Twitter.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell snapped at Democrats and his critics on Friday amid social media backlash over a comment earlier this week on African-African American voters, which came in response to a question about whether people of color should worry about not being able to vote in November.
“I’ve never been accused of this kind of thing before. It’s hurtful, it’s offensive and it’s total nonsense,” McConnell told reporters in Kentucky, per CNN’s Manu Raju.
—Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 21, 2022
McConnell was asked on Wednesday what he would tell voters of color who may be fearful about their right to vote if the Democratic Party fails to pass its major voting rights legislation.
“Well, the concern is misplaced because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans,” McConnell said in response. “A recent survey, 94% of Americans thought it was easy to vote. This is not a problem. Turn out is up.”
Democrats seized on McConnell’s apparent slip-up that African-Americans might be in a different category than Americans. His office previously told CNN that McConnell meant to say “other Americans” and not just “Americans.”
“Hey @LeaderMcConnell… for your information, I’m also an American!” Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison wrote on Twitter.
Other prominent Black Democrats, including former Kentucky state lawmaker Charles Booker, expressed their outrage as well.
—Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) January 20, 2022
McConnell and his Senate GOP colleagues blocked Democrats from moving forward on the proposals on Wednesday. Senate Republicans and Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema then blocked an effort to weaken the Senate’s filibuster that would have made it easier to pass the voting rights bill.
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