Texas Tea Party Republican Chris Mapp's bid to unseat Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has garnered attention not for his policy views, but for his use and defense of the anti-Latino slur "wetbacks" during a meeting with one of the state's biggest newspapers.
The Huffington Post reported that the 53-year-old businessman used the term during an interview earlier this month with the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News, saying that "ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land." He also reportedly referred to President Barack Obama as a "socialist son of a b*tch."
The Morning News noted Mapp's remarks while endorsing Cornyn on Feb. 16, in part because of Cornyn's support for immigration reform. Meanwhile, Mapp was listed among the rest of the other GOP contenders, who were described as "less informed, little known and generally offer extreme, vague or impractical ideas."
Mapp subsequently defended the remark to the San Antonio Express-News, calling use of the slur "as normal as breathing air in South Texas." He has faced criticism from not only state Democrats, but Cornyn and other state conservatives.
"That is way out of bounds and I can't imagine many people in Texas, much less Texas Republicans, voting for that guy," Bexar County Republican Party chair Robert Stovall told the Express-News. "His views are in no way a reflection of the Republican Party nationally, statewide or in Bexar County."
Mapp insisted nothing was wrong with the slur in a lengthy post on his campaign's Facebook page on Saturday, saying that while he did use it, he did not support ranchers' rights to shoot an undocumented immigrant on sight. He also accused both the Morning News and the Express-News of distorting his words.
On Sunday, Mapp followed up with a post saying his views on immigration is "represented" for him by only three people: his sister-in-law, who "came here on a green card;" an unidentified woman to whom he gave his wife's car; and an unidentified male employee who Mapp said followed his instructions to seek legal residency status in order to keep his job.
"I really don't need to be your candidate for U.S. Senate and put up with all this, hours and hours of prep, and days away from the things I care about for what? Abuse and ridicule," Mapp wrote on Sunday.
[Image via Chris Mapp for U.S. Senate campaign Facebook page]