Arizona Republican: Middle Easterners ‘look Mexican’ and want ‘to cause harm’

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 10:06 EDT
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"Gabby" Mercer, an Arizona Republican candidate for the U.S. House. Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.
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A leading Muslim civil rights group said Wednesday that Republican Party officials in Arizona should repudiate a freshly minted congressional candidate after her Democratic opponent published video of her making several bizarre statements about “Middle Easterners.”

“If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican, you know, like a lot of people in South America,” tea party favorite Gabriela “Gabby” Mercer, who legally migrated from Mexico, says in the video (watch below). “Dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix. They mix in. And those people, their only, their only goal in life is to cause harm to the United States. So, why do we want them here either legally or illegally?”

On Monday night, Mercer won the Republican nomination to face Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and it wasn’t even close: She defeated her opponent, Jamie Vasquez, 64.6 percent to 35.4 percent. But even before the primary’s results were in, Grijalva republished the video of her remarks, highlighting snippets of an interview she gave Arizona politics publication The Western Free Press last June. The interview went virtually unnoticed too: according to Talking Points Memo, it only registered 215 views before Grijalva publicized it.

“They have found prayer rugs,” she adds in the video. “They have found copies of the Quran. So that tells you this is not just poor illegals who are trying to come to this country and find work. It’s bigger than that.”

Reacting to Grijalva’s republication of Mercer’s remarks, Imraan Siddiqi, a board member of Arizona’s chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, demanded that Arizona Republicans recognize her mentality for what it is: “Bigoted.”

“We urge responsible leaders of the Republican Party in Arizona and nationwide to repudiate Ms. Mercer’s bigoted comments,” he said in prepared text on Wednesday. “Her un-American and intolerant remarks are an insult to the millions of Americans of Middle Eastern heritage who have contributed so much to this great nation.”

Mercer is scheduled to hold a fundraiser on Wednesday, Sept. 12 with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) at the Hotel Tucson City Center. The governor and a host of prominent Arizona Republicans have endorsed Mercer. So too has Mitt Romney campaign co-chair and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who came to national attention in recent years for threatening to keep President Barack Obama off the state’s ballot unless he proved, again, that he’s an American citizen.

This video was published to YouTube on Monday, August 27, 2012.


Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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