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GOP suddenly interested in candidates who aren't white men

Republicans are desperate to find women and minority candidates to run in 2020.

By Dan Desai Martin - May 13, 2019

After the 2018 midterms, Democrats roared into the House majority with a caucus full of women and men of all backgrounds and races. Republicans looked around and saw a caucus made up of 90% white men, and now seem worried that they elected more new members named “Greg” than new women in 2018.

On Monday, the AP reported that Republicans are engaged in a desperate and cynical attempt to identify women and minority candidates to run in 2020.

“You will see a party that’s reflective of the entire nation,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the AP. “That would mean from gender to race to others, but it will also show that we can compete in every single district,” he added.

McCarthy’s focus on the gender and race of candidates is not the plan put forward by Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the man Republicans tapped to lead their effort to gain seats in 2020. In December 2018, Emmer said that efforts to recruit more women to run as Republicans was “a mistake.”

“I think that’s a mistake,” Emmer told Roll Call about a proposal to recruit more women. “It shouldn’t be just based on looking for a specific set of ingredients — gender, race, religion.”

McCarthy is desperate to encourage women to run as Republicans even as he and most of the House Republicans voted against a measure to help ensure women receive equal pay at their jobs. Most Republicans also voted to allow domestic abusers to obtain guns when they voted against the Violence Against Women Act.

Trump’s antipathy toward non-white Americans is well-documented. Trump regularly uses vile, racist rhetoric to describe immigrants from predominantly non-white countries, including Mexico, Haiti, and all of Africa. He once described immigrants from Haiti and Africa as coming from “shithole countries.

For their part, McCarthy and Republicans continue to support and defend Trump’s racist rhetoric and policies, including tearing immigrant families apart and caging children.

Acknowledging that the GOP struggles to appeal to non-white, non-male voters isn’t even a new idea for Republicans.

In 2012, as President Obama was on his way to winning his second term, Republicans were singing the same song.

“The demographics race we’re losing badly,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in August 2012. “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term,” he added.

In 2015, Graham derided Trump as a “race-baiting xenophobic bigot,” but Graham is now arguably one of the angriest white guys in all of Congress supporting Trump’s every action, including putting an alleged attempted rapist on the Supreme Court.

In seven years, Graham’s devolution mirrors that of the Republican party. The 2018 midterm elections decimated the number of Republican women in the House of Representatives, dropping from 23 to merely 13.

Republicans, meanwhile, rally around Trump, a self-confessed sexual predator who has been accused of sexual harassment by 23 women.

Republicans refuse to distance themselves from the disgusting behavior and rhetoric of Trump, which puts Democrats at ease concerning the 2020 election.

“[A]s you’ve got Donald Trump wrapped around your neck, we don’t have a whole lot to worry about,” Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA), a candidate recruiter for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the AP.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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