2 GOP Senators Honor the Wrong Black Congressman

Marco Rubio and Dan Sullivan post photos of Elijah Cummings instead of John Lewis
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2020 6:11 AM CDT
2 GOP Senators Honor the Wrong Black Congressman
In this 2019 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who mistakenly tweeted a photo of himself and Rep. Elijah Cummings, another Black civil rights icon, in a condolence message to honor Rep. John Lewis.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Dan Sullivan were so upset by the death of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that they posted photos of themselves with ... the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is also a long-serving Democratic Black congressman, but quite a different person who died back in October. “It was an honor to know & be blessed with the opportunity to serve in Congress with John Lewis a genuine & historic American hero,” Rubio tweeted with a photo of himself and Cummings that he briefly made his profile picture before the ridicule began. Meanwhile, Sullivan posted on Facebook that “It was an honor to have served alongside John for a small portion of his impressive career of service, and to have joined him at the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, a years-long effort of the congressman”—beneath a photo of himself and Cummings.

The Washington Post notes that the mistake was made so often that Lewis mentioned it when he paid tribute to Cummings on the House floor after his death. “Sometimes people would confuse us and say, ‘Hello, Elijah’ to me or ‘Hello, John Lewis’ to him,” Lewis said. "And we would joke about it, we would laugh about it." Fox News and CBS News have also made the blunder, notes the Post. Rubio corrected his error, tweeting that "Earlier today I tweeted an incorrect photo," while Sullivan simply took down his post. (Read more John Lewis stories.)

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