Top GOP House candidate is a birther who defends sexual predators

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Republican leaders are proud of recruiting a racist birther who described attempted rape as 'maybe a touch' to run for Congress.

Republicans are suddenly trying to prove that they're interested in recruiting new candidates with diverse backgrounds to run for office. But it turns out that one of the new candidates they're proudest of, TPM reports, has an inflammatory history of spreading racist conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama and insulting the woman who said Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her.

Irina Vilariño is one of five GOP House candidates Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) bragged about in an April conversation with Roll Call. Brooks, who heads up recruiting efforts for House Republicans, touted Vilariño as part of her effort to make sure the GOP does "a better job of looking like America, and better representing the very diverse country that we have."

Vilariño is a Cuban immigrant and a woman, which does set her apart from the currently 90% white male House Republican caucus. But her extreme views would do nothing to help the GOP do a better job of representing American values.

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In March, Vilariño promoted a fake video alleging President Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. The racist conspiracy theory, known as birtherism, was also embraced by Trump and many in the Republican party as a way to question whether or not President Obama, America's first black president, was an American citizen.

Vilariño also promoted false allegations that President Obama cheated to get into Columbia University.

In the summer of 2018, Vilariño callously brushed off attempted rape allegations levied against Kavanaugh, Trump's pick for the Supreme Court.

"There was no intercourse. There was maybe a touch. Really? Thirty-six years later, she's still stuck on that?" Vilariño said, responding to the allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh forcibly pinned her down on a bed, covered her mouth, and attempted to rape her.

Perhaps worse, Vilariño went on to say that if she believed the allegations of attempted rape were 100% true, she would still support Kavanaugh's placement on the Supreme Court.

Vilariño is running against Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), a freshman member from the Miami area who defeated Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in 2018.

Republicans may be trying to recruit more diverse candidates than usual — but the party's racism and sexism is still the same as ever.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.