Congressman Andre Carson, Indiana Democrat, spoke with Washington Times radio program America’s Morning News on Monday about his controversial remarks almost two weeks ago regarding tea party activists and lawmakers on the hill who support them.
Carson said that they would “love to see” black Americans “as second-class citizens” and “some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me… hanging on a tree.”
Although Rep. Carson explained to AMN that he only meant these comments “figuratively,” he did say he still had concern about lawmakers on the hill with “extremist views.” When asked which members he was referring to, Rep. Carson, said: “I was talking about a school of thought. Some want to take us back 50 or 60 years. We have to see a push next year…we have to see a referendum on those members of Congress who hold extremist views.” (listen at 40 seconds in)
Rep. Carson. talked further about the tea party movement and claimed to support some tenets of it, but went after tea party leaders for not condemning certain “elements” of the movement.
“I stand in solidarity with the tea party in cutting back excessive government spending. When they talk about increasing transparency in government, but still, there are still some elements of the [tea] party that I’m concerned about.”
Congresman Allen West, Florida Republican, condemned Rep. Carson’s comments two weeks ago and sent a letter to Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Democrat, regarding Mr. Carson’s statements and California Democrat Rep. Maxine Water’s similar remarks. Mr. West’s letter included concern that if such controversial statements about continue from CBC members, the Florida Republican would have to re-consider his own CBC membership.
When asked about Rep. West on Monday, Congressman Carson said: “Allen West, he served his time in the armed forces of America.” Rep. Carson added, “He served our country well. He has a constituency that he has to appeal to. He’s a good colleague. We have a great cordial relationship. I wish the best for him. He’s a proud American.”
Apparently, Congressman West’s message was heard loud and clear…for now.