Talking Points Memo picks up on comments that Republican congressional candidate Gabrielle Saucedo Mercer, who hopes to unseat Congressman Raul Grijalva, made about people from the Middle East. Nick R. Martin reports:
In an interview with a conservative website earlier this year, Saucedo Mercer talked in depth about her views on immigration. A Mexican immigrant herself who became a U.S. citizen, she said the issue was important because people from places other than Mexico were among those coming across the border illegally.
“That includes Chinese, Middle Easterners,” she said. “If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican or they look, you know, like a lot of people in South America, dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix. They mix in.
“And those people, their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally? When they come across the border, besides the trash that they leave behind, the drug smuggling, the killings, the beheadings. I mean, you are seeing stuff. It’s a war out there.”
Grijalva follows up with a press release:
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today denounced Tea Party congressional candidate Gabriela Saucedo Mercer's recently uncovered interview in which she says Middle Easterners' "only goal in life is to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?"
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Secretary of State Ken Bennett and multiple other Republican party officials have endorsed Mercer. A full list is available at her Web site.
"This is reckless hate speech, and I call on everyone who has endorsed Gabriela Mercer to withdraw their support immediately," Rep. Grijalva said. "This is not a he-said, she-said question of interpretation. Her comments are reprehensible and deserve condemnation from every quarter. Anyone who continues to support her campaign should be asked whether they want someone with her views in Congress."
"I am disappointed in Gabriela Saucedo Mercer's decision to inject division and fear into the election in Arizona's Third District," said Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim American elected to Congress. "America was founded on the fundamental belief in liberty in justice for ALL, regardless of race, religion, nationality, or background. My good friend, Congressman Raúl Grijalva, shares an inclusive vision for America and I urge voters to support him."
Excerpts of the relevant interview are viewable at here. A partial transcript of Mercer's comments is below. The full videos from which the highlights were pulled are at here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). To see the portions from the highlight reel, refer approximately to the 8:00 and 10:30 marks of Part 1.
“If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican or they look, you know, like a lot of people in South America: dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix. They mix in. And those people, their only, their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally? . . . They have found prayer rugs. They have found copies of the Koran. So that tells you this is not just poor illegals that are trying to come to this country and find work. It's bigger than that."