Chris Mapp, a Texas Tea Party Republican is challenging Sen. John Cornyn in the upcoming GOP primary in that state. Mapp has not gained a lot of attention for his political views, but recently he has come under fire for his use of a racial slur, reports the San Antonio Express.
The Express reports that the remark was first made during a meeting with the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News. In that meeting, he referred to illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border into Texas as “wetbacks.”
The Huffington Post also reported on the story, adding that Mapp claimed, “ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border onto their land.”
The upsetting remarks have left Republican leaders scrambling to distance themselves from Mapp. “That is way out of bounds and I can't imagine many people in Texas, much less Texas Republicans, voting for that guy,” said Robert Stoval, the chairman of the Bexar County Republican Party. “His views are in no way a reflection of the Republican Party nationally, statewide or in Bexar County.”
Mapp, who seems to be long on inflammatory comments, has referred to President Barack Obama as a “socialist son of a b----.” He defended his comments to the Express, saying that calling immigrants “wetbacks” is as “normal as breathing air in South Texas.”
Cornyn gave a measured response to the comments. “That kind of rhetoric is discouraging from anybody,” he said. “I recognize this is a free country but that's not the sort of way to gain people's confidence that you care about them and you want to represent their concerns in the halls of Congress.”
The primary with Cornyn is March 4. Early voting began last week, he is facing six opponents.
Most don’t seemed concerned that Mapp will mount any serious opposition. Stovall took a dismissive tone when asked about the upcoming election and Mapp.
“This is why we have primaries, so that we can see people's traits that come out when they are under pressure,” Stovall said. “And in this case, his true colors came out.”