Democratic Va. state senator: Presidential election ‘all about race’ [AUDIO]

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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A Democratic Virginia state senator accused Republican Mitt Romney on Friday of catering to people who don’t like the president because of his race.

“What I’m saying to you is Mitt Romney, he’s speaking to a population of this — a segment of the population who does not like to see people other than a white man in the White House or in any other elected position,” Louise Lucas said on the John Fredericks Show, while discussing the presidential race.

“Let’s be real clear about it, let’s be real clear about it, Mitt Romney is speaking to a group of people out there who don’t like folks like President Barack Obama in any elected or leadership position. We know what’s going on here, and … some people may be afraid to say it, but I’m not. I’m not afraid to say it. He’s speaking to that fringe out there who do not want to see anybody another than a white person in a leadership position,” she continued.

“Do you really believe now that this is still about race?” Fredericks asked her.

“I absolutely believe it is all about race,” Lucas replied. “And for the first time in my life I’ve been able to convince my children finally that racism is alive and well.”

“Even in Virginia?” he asked.

“In Virginia — how about all across this nation?” she replied. “And especially in Virginia.”

Listen to the interview:

“We need to have that discussion because it has not been addressed appropriately. … And I know there are people who’re probably cringing in their seats because they don’t want to hear it. But it’s time that we faced the reality that we need to have a national discussion on racial issues.”

“I don’t believe the president can lead this discussion because it would be perceived in a way that would not be beneficial to him because the Republicans will try to make hay of it,” she added. “But there needs to be some kind of forum to deal with these issues.”

“All of the folks who are saying ‘we don’t like Barack Obama,’ they can’t tell you any reason they don’t, because — let me say this first of all, President Barack Obama did not create the situation that has us in this economic mess that we’re in. Everybody knows that this stuff happened under President George Bush, and they’re trying to dump on the president. But those people — intelligent people understand that President Barack Obama did not create this mess, and the mess that was created could not be solved in two or three or four years. Intelligent people understand that.

“But Mitt Romney will go out and try to play to the fringe by saying it’s all Barack Obama’s fault. But intelligent people know better. I listen to MSNBC. I listen to all the media outlets. And you know exactly where the slants and biases are coming from. But right thinking people know that this mess was not created by Barack Obama, and he’s done the very best job that anybody sitting in the White House could’ve done to try to pull us up out of the muck and mire that George W. Bush got us into.”

Neither the Obama campaign nor the Romney campaign responded immediately to requests for comment about Lucas’ accusations.

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