Rep. Van Hollen: Tea Party Has Racist ‘Elements,’ but ‘Whole Movement’ Shouldn’t be Labeled Racist

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: A day after the NAACP voted to rebuke the Tea Party movement over what the organization labeled “racist factions within the organization,” we asked Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a top-ranking member of House Democratic leadership, for his take.

“The Tea Party movement is an amorphous movement, so I would say that the Tea Party movement, as a whole, cannot be easily identified,” Van Hollen, D-Md., said on ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line.”

“And I think the NAACP made a distinction,” he added. “What they pointed out was, at many of these rallies, you certainly have elements that are racist. I think that's indisputable -- I mean, we’ve seen some of the signs. But they called upon the Tea Party movement as a whole to condemn those remarks. That's how I understand what the NAACP did."

“But no, I think you cannot characterize the whole Tea Party organization as racist. I don't think you can, and I don't think they did -- I'd have to look at exactly what the context was -- but they pointed out that what we have all seen and heard with our own eyes and ears: There are clearly elements within the Tea Party movement that are racist, but again, that is not to say that the whole movement is, no.”

Watch the full interview with Rep. Chris Van Hollen HERE .

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...