Republican Sen. Ron Johnson lashed out at Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller after he had suggested that the GOP opposed Obamacare because President Barack Obama was "the wrong color."
The storm erupted during a Senate Commerce Committee when Rockefeller, the chairman, made the controversial racism allegations, which Johnson said implied he was "a racist," according to Politico.
"It was regrettable and I would say it was offensive…that you would play the race card," Johnson said. "That you would say that opposition to Obamacare necessarily must stream from some inherent racism? Very offensive. My opposition to healthcare has nothing to do with the race of President Obama. It is the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime."
Johnson, who was the only Republican in the sparsely attended hearing at the time, added, "I found it very offensive that you would basically imply that I’m a racist because I oppose this healthcare law. That is outrageous."
Rockefeller had earlier said that Republicans had made up their minds that they didn’t want Obamacare to work "because they don’t like the president, maybe he’s of the wrong color, something of that sort."
This was the second time this month that the West Virginia Democrat had accused Republicans of being racist. During a transportation funding hearing he said that the GOP wanted Obama’s policies to fail "because he’s the wrong color."
Referring to racism in politics, Rockefeller continued, "I’ve seen a lot of that, and I know a lot of that to be true. It’s not something you’re meant to talk about in public, but it’s something I’m talking about in public because that is very true."
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