Democratic candidate under fire for ‘un-American’ comment

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

Democratic Nevada congressional candidate Erin Bilbray is facing backlash for using the term “un-American” to describe activities of her Republican opponent Rep. Joe Heck, an Iraq War veteran.

Erin Bilbray is the daughter of former Nevada Rep. James Bilbray, who lost his blue seat in the 1994 Republican Revolution. She is attempting to make women’s issues a paramount wedge in her race against Heck.

Before running for Congress, Bilbray worked for various nonprofits, founding three of them, and sat on various boards and volunteered for various foundations. This race is her first taste of politics, and she made the “un-American” comment this week on the Nevada television program “Ralston Reports.”


Bilbray was pretty upset that Heck ran a fundraising email stating, “my new opponent has made her living playing politics to get candidates elected that will be a rubber-stamp for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party’s liberal agenda.”

Bilbray called Heck’s fundraising email anti-woman.

“I announced on July 1 with a very positive message about my family, my values and I was just actually surprised by the negative tone that he immediately took this far out,” Bilbray said in the television interview. “I think he was wrong, and I think it discourages people from participating in the process, and that is wrong, and that is un-American.”

Bilbray campaign manager Bradley Mayer told the Las Vegas Sun that Heck’s campaign’s negative email was “un-American,” not Heck himself.

Republicans in Washington took notice of Bilbray’s comments Friday afternoon.

“Erin Bilbray should immediately apologize to Joe Heck, as well every man and woman who has fought to protect our country, and then stop perpetuating a fake war on women,” House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in a statement.

“It is unfortunate that Erin Bilbray would stoop to such low levels to call Joe Heck ‘un-American’ and falsely claim that he is part of this bogus war on women. Joe is an outstanding American who has a long record of proudly serving our country — as a first responder at ‘Ground Zero’ after September 11th, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and currently as an Army Reservist,” McMorris Rodgers said.

Follow Patrick on Twitter

Patrick Howley