CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The chairman of New Hampshire’s Democratic Party has come under fire for comments suggesting some unregistered voters in the state are white supremacists.
Ray Buckley was responding over the weekend to news that a group with links to President Donald Trump’s campaign was planning to reach out to thousands of the state’s unregistered voters. Asked about this by a reporter for WMUR-TV , Buckley said the “organizing and activating of these extremists, these white supremacists, really could have a detrimental effect on the entire culture of New Hampshire.”
Buckley, known for his highly partisan and combative style, followed up with a tweet saying the state Republican Party and others were “rushing to support effort to engage white supremacists into voting in NH.”
Republicans have called Buckley’s comments “despicable” and demanded that the state’s Democratic Congressional delegation condemn them. Their party, in a statement on Twitter, said Buckley had “smeared over 15,000 Granite Staters” with his comments about white supremacists.
Conservatives on Twitter also attacked Buckley over the comments, calling him everything from a racist thug to stupid.
A New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman said Buckley’s comments were taken out of context. Wyatt Ronan said Buckley was only responding to the fact that the group, Look Ahead America, failed to say whether it was reaching out to extremists in its goal of reaching “blue-collar patriotic Americans who are disaffected and disenfranchised from the nation’s corridors of power.”
“The Republican outrage apparatus is expectedly taking this comment out of context to manufacture controversy,” Ronan said. “Chairman Buckley would never characterize unregistered, disaffected voters as white supremacists.”
Ronan added: “Anything short of unambiguously saying, ‘No, we won’t be mobilizing extremists or white supremacists,’ is unacceptable, and it’s surprising to see Republicans once again fail to sufficiently stand up to this kind of ambiguity.”
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