Alaska's Don Young Apologizes for Slur

Congressman sorry for 'wetbacks' remark
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2013 4:29 PM CDT
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, in a 2011 file photo.   (AP Photo/Dan Joling, File)

(Newser) – Don Young didn't offer any half-apologies this time. After a day of withering criticism from his own party leaders, the GOP congressman from Alaska said he was sorry for referring to Mexican farm workers as "wetbacks" in a radio interview, reports the Anchorage Daily News. His statement:

  • "I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska. There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words. That word, and the negative attitudes that come with it, should be left in the 20th century, and I'm sorry that this has shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform."

His statement came after John Boehner called Young's remarks "beneath the dignity of the office he holds" and demanded an apology. RNC chair Reince Priebus offered a similar condemnation, and no wonder: His group is investing $10 million to improve its outreach to minorities, especially Hispanics, after President Obama won 71% of the Latino vote last fall, reports USA Today. (Read more Don Young stories.)

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