President Barack Obama told an Texas audience of trial lawyers and donors that the GOP’s voter verification policies are “un-American.”
Obama also complained about his female and minority supporters Wednesday night, saying they have a “congenital disease,” which reduces their eagerness to vote in midterm elections.
The president’s rhetorical rejection of his fellow citizens’ American identity and insistence that Democratic voters have a “disease” that keeps them from competing in midterms highlights his increasingly strident rhetoric as he faces an uphill effort to preserve the Democrats’ majority in the Senate.
He made the un-American charge while complaining about anti-voting fraud measures in Texas. “The idea that you’d purposely try to prevent people from voting… [is] un-American,” Obama said, after being prompted by one of his donors, who yelled out “un-American.”
The disease claim was made moments later, when he complained about Democratic turnout.
Democratic policies are popular, he claimed to his donors, “but we have this congenital disease, which is in midterm elections we don’t vote at the same rates,” Obama said.
The disease, he added, is present in young women, Latinos and African-Americans. His description implies that older women and white voters, who tend to vote at higher rates during midterm elections, do not have the turnout-reducing “congenital disease.”
“Our voters are younger, more unmarried women, more African American and Latino voters. They get excited about general elections; they don’t get as excited about midterm elections,” he complained during the Houston fundraiser, which was held in the home of a Democratic trial lawyer.
Obama is generally very careful in his use of words, but does go off-script when he’s under pressure.
He’s used “congenital” before, telling a group of CEOs in November 2013 that “I am actually optimistic that we’re going to get this [immigration rewrite] done. I am a congenital optimist. I would have to be — I’m named Barack Obama and I ran for President.”
In front of his donors, Obama also pushed a claim about pay for men and women that he had earlier acknowledged was at least partly untrue.