A GOP congressman didn’t hold back in his rebuke of Democrats this week, arguing that his adversaries spent far too much time discussing racial inequality in America.
“… I had 30 minutes of Democrats coming down and talking about how bad automobile people are because they discriminate against nonwhite buyers,” Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly said during a Tuesday morning appearance on “Fox and Friends.” “I said that’s not America. We don’t talk about those things.”
Kelly, who has ties to the auto industry and once worked at a Chevy dealership owned by his father, was referencing a widely publicized clash between him and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) last week when the Republican-controlled House voted to scrap Obama-era rules protecting non-white consumers against auto-lending discrimination. The policy was issued in 2013 after the Obama administration found that some car lenders who offered financing through dealerships engaged in illegal and discriminatory markups at the cost of minority consumers.
Rep. Waters criticized Republicans’ decision to roll back the protections, noting that Black consumers are more likely to be turned down for car loans than their white peers. Women are also unfairly discriminated against in the industry, she argued from the House floor.
“Stop talking about discrimination and start talking more about the nation,” Kelly shouted at the congresswoman. “We’re coming together as a people in spite of what you say!”
The conservative politician then took a page from President Donald Trump’s book, saying, “We’re trying to make sure that we’re making America great, every day in every way. And the best way to do that is to stop talking about discrimination, and start talking about the nation.”
Congresswoman Waters refused to yield to such an argument, however.
“I am more offended as an African-American woman than you will ever be!” she yelled. And this business about ‘making America great again’ — it’s your president that’s dividing this country. No, I will not yield!”
Video of their House floor tiff has since gone viral.
In his Tuesday interview, Kelly blasted the Black lawmaker for her “divisive” rhetoric and credited Trump with trying to heal America’s racial divide.
“It is so uplifting,” he told “Fox and Friends” hosts of Trump’s presidency. “…I mean, listen, we are still the United States of America, not the Divided States of America, and if we can’t talk better than what happened on the floor the other day.”