In a recent interview on Univision, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) expressed outrage, in Spanish, at “the Vietnamese and the Republicans are [trying] — with an intensity — to take this seat, this seat with which we’ve done so much for our community.”
“[They’re trying] to take this seat and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic,” she continued.
According to the Orange County Register, both Sanchez and her Republican opponent, California Assemblyman Van Tran (whose family was evacuated by the U.S. Army out of Saigon the week before it fell) have already issued statements about the comments. In a statement, Tran’s campaign manager George Andrews said: “At a time when our state faces an unemployment rate above 12 percent, Loretta Sanchez resorts to insensitive racist attacks against her own constituents. Her attack against immigrants and the Vietnamese community on national television is shocking.”
Meanwhile, Sanchez’s campaign said that she “was referencing those in the Vietnamese community who are supporting her opponent.”
Tran’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPM.
According to CQ Politics, Califonia’s 47th district is 65% Hispanic and 14% Asian. Back in the 1990s, when the district was numbered as the 46th (Sanchez was elected in ‘96), the district was 50% Hispanic and 12% Asian according to the 1990 census figures.
Watch the clip:
(h/t Ben Smith)
Late Update: Sanchez’s office responded to our request for comment with a similar statement to the one obtained by the Register. Here’s the full statement, from Sanchez’s Campaign Manager, Jessica Mejia:
During the interview, Loretta was referencing those in the Vietnamese community who are supporting her opponent. She continues to be grateful that her Vietnamese-American constituents have entrusted her to represent their values and priorities.
Loretta’s message to all of her constituents is the same. She is focused on rebuilding our local economy, keeping our neighborhoods safe, and ensuring all of her constituents have access to quality and affordable health care. These are the issues that matter to her entire community.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com