GOP members have rained their wrath down upon fellow member Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) after he made a racially charged comment during a radio interview released Thursday.
During the interview, 79-year-old Young used the derogatory term ‘wetback,’ which has resulted in a large amount of backlash from his own party members. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was one of the first to publicly express his disapproval.
“Congressman Young’s remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds,” Boehner said in a statement. “I don’t care why he said it – there’s no excuse, and it warrants an immediate apology.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who also serves as the Senate minority whip, also issued a statement Friday morning.
“Migrant workers come to America looking for opportunity and a way to provide a better life for their families,” Cornyn said in the statement. “They do not come to this country to hear ethnic slurs and derogatory language from elected officials. The comments used by Rep. Young do nothing to elevate our party, political discourse or the millions who come here looking for economic opportunity.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took to Twitter to express his disgust.
“Don Young's comments were offensive and have no place in our Party or in our nation's discourse. He should apologize immediately,” McCain posted to Twitter on Friday.
Young explained in a statement issued Thursday night that, while growing up in Calfornia, the term was often used, and he did not mean it in a derogatory way.
“I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays, and I meant no disrespect,” he said.
To say the least, the comment will likely not at all help the GOP it its efforts to warm up to minority constituent groups.