This probably doesn’t come as a shocker to anyone, but Obama’s ‘team’ is finally turning on him. Which is nice to see the snake eating its own tail.
Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, in an interview aired on Univision 19 Friday, injected race in explaining away President Barack Obama’s endorsement of U.S. Senate rival Kamala Harris, whose father is Jamaican.
Sanchez was asked why the president had endorsed Harris in the unusual race between two Democrats this year. Speaking in Spanish, she noted that Obama and Harris are longtime friends, then added: “She is African American. He is, too.”
Sanchez, in a statement after the interview aired, said she “in no way” implied or intended to imply Obama endorsed Harris for racial reasons. “I was stating the fact that the endorsement was based on their long-term political relationship,” she said.
Her remarks come days after she ripped Obama for endorsing Harris, arguing he should be focused on helping Democrats win the presidential race rather than inserting himself in a contest between two party members.
“California’s Senate seat does not belong to the political establishment – it belongs to the People of California,” Sanchez said, adding she believes voters will make their own choice in November.
Anxieties between African Americans and Latinos have been an underlying, yet seldom discussed, issue in California politics. Sanchez has aggressively courted Latinos in her campaign to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. She has spoken about her Mexican American roots and her ability to speak Spanish. “I think we need a Latina in the U.S. Senate,” Sanchez said in January.
She also has tapped the support of Republicans who view Harris as too liberal.
Harris, the state’s top law enforcement official and its highest-ranking black elected leader, has increasing waded into the complex tensions between police officers and people of color.
Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, Harris said after the shooting of five officers in Dallas that she doesn’t know a black man, be he a relative, a colleague or a friend, that has not been subjected to racial profiling or an unfair stop.