Democratic Rep: 'Not All' in GOP Are Racist
But party has 'elements animated by racism': Steve Israel
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 14, 2014 8:35 AM CDT
FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2013 file photo, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. Millionaires and billionaires are increasing their influence in federal elections, forcing the...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – Does Democratic Rep. Steve Israel think his "Republican colleagues are racist"? His reply to Candy Crowley's question on CNN yesterday: "Not all of them, no. Of course not," said the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But "to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism, and that's unfortunate," he said, per Politico. His comments came amid a discussion of Eric Holder's concerns about himself and President Obama facing "ugly and divisive" attacks; Nancy Pelosi has also suggested race plays a role in opposition to immigration reform, the Washington Post notes.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden, who also appeared on the program, said Israel's take was "wrong and unfortunate." Further reactions to the comments have already begun. Per Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast: "You have to be living a life of willed ignorance and denial to take issue with what Israel said." (Also on yesterday's talk shows, Kathleen Sebelius told Meet the Press that staying on as HHS secretary "really wasn't an option.")