Rep. Don Young’s (R-AK) casual characterization of migrant workers as “wetbacks” came at a time when the Republican Party is trying desperately to improve its beleaguered image among minority communities, prompting a number of individuals on the right to condemn the longtime Alaska congressman.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) got things started on Friday morning, issuing a statement defending migrant workers and saying that Young’s remarks “do nothing to elevate our party, political discourse or the millions who come here looking for economic opportunity.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) followed suit, calling on Young to apologize immediately. “Congressman Young’s remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds,” Boehner said in a statement.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, still busy promoting the GOP’s newfound outreach to Latino voters, said that Young’s remarks “emphatically do not represent the beliefs” of the party.
Hours after Cornyn’s statement surfaced, perhaps the most notable border state lawmawker weighed in with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) taking to Twitter to call on Young to “apologize immediately.”
Don Young’s comments were offensive and have no place in our Party or in our nation’s discourse. He should apologize immediately
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 29, 2013
Before McCain spoke out, a pair of his former consultants also used Twitter to criticize Young.
Rebranding? GOP should strongly condemn Don Young’s offensive statement re Hispanics. @johnboehner right to do so, so should others.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) March 29, 2013
Fortunately Don Young is a dinosaur on the bridge to political extinction.
— John Weaver (@JWGOP) March 29, 2013
Joining the GOP consultant pile on was former Rick Perry adviser Sean Davis, who disparaged Young as a “detestable crook.”
Anybody who’s surprised by Don Young’s behavior hasn’t been paying attention for the last decade. He’s a detestable crook.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) March 29, 2013
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) released a statement saying “there is no excuse” for Young’s rhetoric.
This post has been updated.