Watch out Steve King, because someone is coming for your crown.
In a rant to a conservative shock jock earlier this week, Rep. Dave Brat — who famously toppled former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a stunning primary victory — compared patriotic DREAMers who want to enlist in the U.S. military to terrorist group ISIS.
On Monday Brat told conservative radio show host John Fredericks that he was angered by comments by some of his colleagues in Congress that undocumented immigrants who want to enlist in the military are showing their patriotism.
“I wanted to stand up and shout, I mean, ISIS is willing to serve in our military as well,” Brat said on “The John Fredericks Show,” heard in Richmond on WNTW (820 AM).
The Republican from Henrico County also said that the practice of opening military forces to immigrants has toppled previous world powers.
“Part of the reason Rome fell is because they started hiring barbarians, otherwise known as the Germans at the time, to be troops in their own army,” Brat said. “What’s going on is the decline of western civilization at the highest level.”
The comments came just weeks after RNC leadership touted a Cinco de Mayo proclamation celebrating “men and women and Hispanics of all descents—past and present—who have served our country.”
So much for that Latino outreach.
Pablo Manriquez, Director of Hispanic Media for the DNC, called Brat’s comments “heinous” and “the lowest form of political buffoonery.”
“Hispanics nationwide are disgusted and Virginia Hispanics won’t stand for it,” Manriquez told the Roanoke Times. “Dave Brat should be ashamed of himself and his party should feel humiliated by the utter disregard he shows for his constituents, the state of Virginia, and intelligent political discourse everywhere.”
Shame is exactly what anyone serious about outreach to Latinos would be feeling right about now, but the only response from Brat’s Republican colleagues in Congress has been the sound of crickets.
But, Brat (a fitting name) has plenty of company when it comes to anti-immigrant extremism.
So far, over a dozen Republicans have expressed interest in or have already declared their candidacy for President in 2016, and nearly all have figuratively broken bread with the likes of Steve King in an attempt to woo primary voters.
Just today, Gov. Scott Walker claimed that immigrants are not coming to the U.S. to work and build better lives for themselves and their families, but instead are coming for “other motives.”
“There’s a good number from Indonesia, there are from Morocco, and other places around the world, many of whom aren’t looking for work in the United States. They’ve got other motives and we need to wake up to that,” Walker warned a conservative audience in Oklahoma.
Exactly what those motives are, Walker didn’t say, but he might as well have finished off his soliloquy with a wink at the end to the audience.
Republicans are in deep trouble when it comes to Latino and immigrant voters, and a couple of nice words every Cinco de Mayo just isn’t going to cut it, not when we remember comments from the likes of Dave Brat and Scott Walker a whole lot longer.