Sarah Palin's Candidate in Idaho House Race Calls Puerto Rico a "Foreign Country"
Idaho House candidate Vaughn Ward (R) is under a microscope of media attention because of some recent misteps and another that came last night, when he misidentified Puerto Rico in a debate with his primary opponent, Raul Labrador, who was born on the island.
Both men were asked if the self-governing U.S. territory should be made a state. (Its residents are already American citizens.) They agreed that it shouldn't, but during Ward's answer he called the island a "country."
"I don't care what state it is or what country is it that wants to become a part of America, it's not time, it's not going to be time," Ward said. "Let's focus on us first."
"I just need to correct," Labrador injected. "Puerto Rico's not a country." He suggested Ward take a "civics lesson." "
I really don’t care what it is," Ward replied. "It doesn't matter."
It's that last bit which captures the blend of ignorance and hubris that marks backlash conservatism. Even when corrected, he just doesn't care. Objective truth that clashes with your talking-point? Doesn't matter!
A random internet commenter here had a response for Ward:
Mr. Ward, I recently read some comments you expressed when debating Mr. Raul Labrador and I must say you disrespected thousands of service men and women and fellow American citizens from Puerto Rico when you expressed “I really don’t care what it is,[Puerto Rico] I mean it doesn’t matter.” What does not matter? That we are Americans? That many have given their lives for the very constitution that denies us many rights because we are not a state? What does not matter? That we live in every state of the union and have contributed to the success of OUR nation the UNITED STATES of AMERICA? Mr. Ward, I am offended because I put on a uniform for 30 years to serve the very country that will not allow Puerto Rico to some day be a State of Union if it allows people like you who do not "care what it is." I am an independent Conservative and hope that the Republican party will help those that think like you take the path of righteous enlightenment when it comes to Puerto Rico and its AMERICAN CITIZENS. Good day! [Took the liberty of editing 2 typos]
Anyway, Sarah Palin flew in to stump for Ward, reportedly to deflect some of the attention from his "mis-statements." Interestingly, the act pissed off a local Tea Partier to such a degree that he decided to organize a protest of her appearance (this is not difficult).
I mention that only so I could put "Sarah Palin" in the headline and get you to read about some obscure wingnut in Idaho. The New York Timesmade me to do it!