Politics

Sharron Angle’s critics resort to accusing her of racism and playing racial politics

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

Well, if you can’t beat ‘em….call them a racist? That seems to be the strategy of the opponents of Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle.

In the most recent Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters released Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trails Angle 47 percent to 50 percent.

With the race so close, Reid’s supporters have gone on the offense, looking to tear Angle down with the most potent of attacks —  labeling her a racist (conveniently forgetting Reid’s own foray into the insensitive — or worse – when he questioned the political intellect of Latinos who strayed from the Democrat Party).

Reid supporters have harshly criticized Angle for her “Thanks Pal” television ad which highlighted Harry Reid’s past support of taxpayer-funded benefits for illegals aliens. The ad has even earned comparisons to former President George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton ad.

“All are classic examples of conservative, fear-based dirty politics,” wrote Sandi Behrns at Alan Colmes’ Liberalland blog. “While the racial component is clearly offensive, it is also true that these ads have, in the past, unfortunately, worked. It remains to be seen whether Sharron Angle will be successful this year; but in the state with the highest unemployment in the country, this kind of racial scapegoating seems likely to have some effect.”

Angle opened herself up to further criticism Friday during an appearance before a group of Latino students when she extolled the virtues of the American melting pot by saying that some of the students looked Asian to her.

Her comment evoked such headlines from her critics as “Sharron Angle Confirms She’s a Racist, Fundamentalist Moron.” And commentary such as:”Basically she is using the politics of fear and trying to tell Americans that, ‘we are being invaded by Mexicans, so vote for me,’” deputy director of America’s Voice Lynn Tramonte said.

Dan Gainor, vice president of culture and business for the Media Research Center, told The Daily Caller that the charge of racism is the default attack levied by liberals in tight elections. “A man with a hammer hits a nail. A man with an agenda cries racism,” he said.

Gainor went on to explain that it only makes sense for a Tea Party candidate to be called a racist when Tea Party opponents have been alleging the existence of a racial conspiracy behind entire Tea Party for a long time.

“If they charge that the Tea Party is racist, by extension they would call the Tea Party candidates racist,” Gainor said.

Angle’s campaign remains confident that the charges will not harm her chances. “Desperate politicians say despicable things when they are losing the political battle, including playing the race card, and Sharron finds that shameful,” Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy told TheDC.

“Sharron is a proud grandmother of beautiful Hispanic children – she loves them dearly and wants only the best for them, and these are some of the motives that inspire her to run for office. Sadly, It’s Harry Reid who divides; whether it concerns skin color or dialects of somebody running for political office, or questioning the political affiliation of patriotic Hispanics, it’s Harry Reid’s very own comments which prove that it is Harry Reid himself who is out of touch with our community,” Stacy concluded.