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New York Rep. Steve Israel said Sunday a significant part of the Republican Party is “animated by racism,” marking the third time in recent days that a leading Democrat has appeared to make race an issue and draw a sharp response from Republicans.
Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose major role is the get House members re-elected, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that not all of his Republican colleagues are racist.
“Not all of them, of course not,” he said. “But to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.”
Israel made his comments after Attorney General Eric Holder testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, then suggested the next day at a forum on civil rights that the past five years in Washington have been marked by “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity.”