In the spirit of fast-rising white Republicans who say dumb things about race, Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel can now add his name to the list after Mother Jones uncovered a 2006 tape where the Tea Party darling bragged about not wanting to pay slavery reparations and only knowing how to hit on girls and find the bathroom in Spanish. (The Wall Street Journal reported on tape on Thursday.) McDaniel is challenging fellow Republican Thad Cochran for his U.S. Senate seat.
"If they pass [slavery] reparations, and my taxes are going up, I ain’t paying taxes," McDaniel said during a late 2006/early 2007 broadcast. McDaniel wasn't through. He went on to explain how poor Mexico was, and how he could live like a king there since "a dollar bill can buy a mansion in Mexico."
He was then asked if that meant learning Spanish. "Yes, regrettably…You’ll have to learn just enough to ask where the bathroom is. Baños. Baños. That’s what you say," McDaniel explained.
But one does not live on baños alone, McDaniel explained. He told his audience that you also have to know how to cat call a good-looking woman. "Mamacita works. ... I’m an English-speaking Anglo. I have no idea what it means, actually, but I’ve said it a few times, just for, you know, fun. And I think it basically means, 'Hey, hot mama.' Or, you know, 'You’re a fine looking young thing.'"
McDaniel's controversial remarks aren't unlike the remarks that have paved the way for a few popular Republicans. Ron Paul's newsletters, rife with blurbs about "blacks" having to "pick up their welfare checks" from 20 years ago got the one-time presidential hopeful into hot water. Paul's son, Rand, has his share of racial head-scratchers, like expressing reservations over the Civil Rights Act. And the Republican party is no stranger to its members saying nasty words like "wetbacks" and drawing comparisons between immigrants and drug runners.
McDaniel's spokesman didn't deny that he made those remarks and somehow blamed it on the liberal press. Mind you, McDaniel was on a conservative talk show when he said these things. "The liberal press clearly loves to attack conservatives of all types. When Chris got into this race he knew they would throw mud, so it’s no surprise they’d dredge up decade-old comments made on conservative talk radio," his spokesperson Noel Fritsch said. Curiously, Fristch did not say if McDaniel still held those beliefs.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.