Democratic Rep. Steve Israel
told CNN's "State of the Union" that the Republican Party has "elements that are animated by racism." Former Democratic National Committee consultant Joe Lestingi says that was political hyperbole, but it underscores a lingering, significant problem for Republicans.
"I think it's about intolerance within the Republican Party," he told John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newxmax TV. "What we see now is the Republican Party having a problem with many different groups of people, whether it's immigration reform that's still sitting in the House waiting, whether it's gay marriage which isn't allowed in many parts of this country, whether it's healthcare for lower income areas, expansions of Medicaid."
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Raffi Williams, the Republican National Committee's deputy press secretary, says his party is fighting to fight to win the trust — and votes — of minority voters. Williams said that the Republican Party has been making concerted efforts to reach minority communities like never before, and those efforts have Democrats running scared.
"We weren't actively seeking their vote in the way that we should have been in the past couple cycles and now we are," Williams said. "What you're seeing now is the Democrats are afraid of the good work that we are doing in these communities and they're seeing the effects of it, of us working and having conversations in communities that have been dominated by the Democrats who've gone along demagoguing Republicans time and time again in these communities without a Republican to tell them where we actually stand and what we stand for."
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