Sen. Joe Donnelly Clumsily Touts Minority Staffers

Amber Athey | White House Correspondent

Democratic Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly said during a Tuesday night debate that he has minority staffers “but” they are very qualified and do an “amazing job.”

WATCH:

Donnelly praised the work of several of his minority staffers, but his phrasing seems to suggest that they are competent despite their race. (POLL: Three Key Senate Races In Virtual Dead Heat)

“We want everybody to have a chance in Indiana, and in America. And my offices reflect that, both on the campaign side and on the Senate side. Our state director is Indian American, but he does an amazing job,” Donnelly said. “Our director of all constituent services, she’s African American. But she does an even more incredible job than you could ever imagine.”

Donnelly followed his praise with a statement about diversity and said he has worked hard to give opportunities to minorities.

“It isn’t their race or their religion, it’s the incredible person that they are. But at the same time, they have to have a chance. They have to have an opportunity,” Donnelly said. “And that’s my responsibility, and I’ve done it in every office I’ve had, and I’ve done it every campaign I’ve had, because my campaigns and our Senate office should reflect the face of Indiana.”

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