Cokie Roberts: Comment About Birth Control And Latino Vote Was ‘Inartful’


NPR’s Cokie Roberts on Monday sought to clarify a comment she made earlier in the day that in order to control the Latino vote, Republicans would need “birth control.”

In an interview with Slate on Monday, Roberts said that her comment was a bad attempt at making a joke.

“I’m one of the world’s most pro-immigration people on earth, and have always been, and was basically making—although it was quite clearly not a very good joke—which happens at 5 o’clock in the morning live on the air,” she said. “You can often be inartful at 5 o’clock in the morning.”

She then explained what preceded her comment about birth control.

“But Tucker was making the point that you’d have to stop immigration. Well, my point was, that wouldn’t do it because we already have all these wonderful Hispanics in the country. That was my point. And thank heavens for that,” she said. “I am a great celebrator of American diversity and one of the reasons I’ve been so adamantly anti-Trump is that I was so offended by his announcement about Mexicans.”

During NPR’s “Morning Edition” on Monday, Roberts discussed with NPR’s Steve Inskeep and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson the high turnout of Latino voters and whether that could benefit Hillary Clinton and Democrats. Carlson said that if Clinton wins in Texas, Republicans will need “tightened immigration” or more outreach to Latino voters in order to win subsequent elections.

Roberts then jumped in to say that limiting immigration would not necessarily keep the Latino voter bloc from growing.

“Well, immigration wouldn’t do it,” she said. “You’d have to do birth control to make it useful to Republicans.”

Roberts quickly tried to clarify her remark on Twitter Monday morning after seeing backlash to her remark.