GOP congressman says minorities are 'gullible' in buying talk of voter suppression
Minority-group voters are so "gullible" they believe fabrications about voter suppression concocted by Democrats, one of the most combatively conservative Republicans in Congress maintains.
"The Democrats lie when they say, 'Oh, this is to suppress votes,' or 'This is to hurt minorities.' It's just a lie," Rep. Doug Lamborn said on a recent conservative radio broadcast getting some decent recirculation on social media, from both fans and foes of his thinking. "They want to stir up minorities who are gullible and believe that garbage."
The comments are a sharp rhetorical escalation in one of the most intense partisan disagreements over how to improve American democracy: Republicans maintain that their interest in strict rules surrounding voter registration and access to the polls is all about preventing voter fraud, and Democrats counter that the GOP sees its easiest path to victories in contests where turnout is held down by such rules.
Interviewed Feb. 20 on KVOR, a conservative talk station in the congressman's home town of Colorado Springs, Lamborn said he believes the state government is not working hard enough to maintain an accurate roll of eligible voters.
"It's legitimate for Republicans or anyone for that matter to make sure that county clerks and secretaries of state clean up their acts and really have transparent and accountable records, paper trails, and all of the above have cyber security," said Lamborn, who's in his seventh term. He is now among just three Republicans in a House delegation of seven, Colorado having shifted from purple to a pretty bright blue on the national map in the past 15 years.
Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter
"Saying that 'minorities' are gullible for believing reports of voter suppression adds insult to the injury of this injustice," Rosemary Lytle, who runs the NAACP chapter for Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, told the Colorado Times Recorder. "We have states like Colorado where robo calls targeting people in Pueblo once said, 'Don't forget to vote on Wednesday' when elections are held on Tuesday. And Doug Lamborn dares to call Black and Brown people 'gullible'? We are only gullible if we believe the lies of the so-called congressman who was elected to represent us."
This is not the first time Lamborn has sounded racist on talk radio. In 2011, Lamborn made national news for telling a conservative host that being associated with President Obama's policies is like "touching a tar baby." He later apologized.
- Partisan tussle interrupts House probe of midterm voter suppression ... ›
- Voter suppression claims undermine important causes and ... ›
- Corruption and voter suppression leave a paper trail - The Fulcrum ›