Oops: GOP Lawmaker Retracts 'Great White' From Hopes

By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2009 9:07 AM CDT
Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas, addresses reporters in Topeka, Kan., on Aug. 6, 2008.   (AP Photo/Chuck France/File)
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(Newser) – As if the GOP wasn't already a bit too lily white for the 21st century, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Kansas Republican, had this to say about her party at a town hall forum last week: "Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope. I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington." She didn't mean the white part, her spokeswoman told the Topeka Capital-Journal yesterday. "What she meant by it is they have a bright future. They're bright lights within the party."

Through her rep, Jenkins apologized for the word choice, which unfortunately harks back to the early 20th century campaign to find a white boxer who could defeat black heavyweight champ Jack Johnson. Meanwhile, the three members of the House she gave as potential stars—Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan—are all white, notes the Capital-Journal.