Obama aide's 'chimichanga' comment creates a stir
February 15th, 2012
03:29 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama aide's 'chimichanga' comment creates a stir

(CNN) - A tweet that borrowed a line from a Washington Post opinion writer landed President Barack Obama's campaign manager in a Republican hot fryer Wednesday.

Jim Messina quoted the Washington Post's Dana Milbank directly via his twitter account.

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"Line of the day from WAPO's Dana Milbank: "The chimichanga? It may be the only thing Republicans have left to offer Latinos."

Milbank ended his Wednesday column that analyzed the Republican Party's treatment of the Latino voting bloc with the line. He borrowed the reference from Sen. John McCain, who he quoted earlier in the story.

"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spoke about the wonders of his state. 'The lettuce in your salad this month almost certainly came from Arizona,' McCain said. 'It's also believed that the chimichanga has its origin in Arizona,'" the piece read.

But Republicans quickly turned up the heat on the Messina tweet, arguing it was insensitive.

Jennifer Sevilla Korn, executive director of the conservative Hispanic Leadership Network accused Democrats of "name calling."

"The fact that the campaign manager of President Obama's reelection campaign thinks it's appropriate to disseminate insulting jokes about the Hispanic community is a perfect example of the kind of empty rhetoric that characterizes this White House's so-called outreach to Latinos," Sevilla wrote in a statement. "We demand that Mr. Messina immediately apologize and we ask that President Obama disavow his campaign manager's ridiculous statement."

The Republican National Committee's Latino Twitter account re-tweeted comments from others, including one that called the Messina tweet "insulting and condescending."

Alexandra Franceschi, who handles Latino press for the RNC, said the tweet is proof Messina "doesn't understand the diversity of the Hispanic community."

"Hispanics deserve an apology for his inflammatory comment," Franceschi tweeted.

In response, Messina sent another tweet, in his defense: "Tweeting someone else's words caused a stir, but the GOP is on the wrong side of ever Hispanic voter priority: http://t.co/k3TtVGiO

But that reaction didn't quite satisfy the critics, @RNCLatinos among them.

"Someone else? YOU called it line of the day … MT @Messina2012: Tweeting someone else's words caused a stir…," read a tweet from the organization.


Filed under: President Obama • Twitter
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. CR

    This is the best the Repubs can do? The party that has made their stripes on being offensive to minorities and women and then blaming the victims of their vitriol for being "to sensitive." The President is ahead of any Repub challenger by over 45% with hispanic voters and that's terrifying the GOP. They an't win with those numbers. Minorities black and hispanic don't vote for you because they know how you really feel Repubs, you want to deport their relatives or depress the vote in their community. Why bother, you know, treating these groups like their equal and argue your point by going into their communities on a regular basis and having a discussion when you can be underhanded or ignore them completely? You don't get minority votes because you don't given them they same time and attention you give white bible thumpers. Someday this country is going to be majority minority and you won't have a leg to stand on, only by then the generations will know how you really feel after years of ignoring them and you won't have a future as a party. You better get your act together Repubs and shut down the racists in your party or say goodbye to your parties future.

    February 15, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Lisa P

    "The fact that the campaign manager of President Obama's reelection campaign thinks it's appropriate to disseminate insulting jokes about the Hispanic community is a perfect example of the kind of empty rhetoric that characterizes this White House's so-called outreach to Latinos," Sevilla wrote in a statement. "We demand that Mr. Messina immediately apologize and we ask that President Obama disavow his campaign manager's ridiculous statement."

    Ms. Sevilla ought to win some sort of prize for employing such a fine example of empty rhetoric to call out a political opponent for using empty rhetoric. Maybe we could call it the Escher Award?

    February 15, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Victor

    What else could the GOP offer the latinos in this our USA? I like Chimichangas but that will not give them my vote of confidence!

    February 15, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. mike

    Just think what would of happened if he said Taco.

    February 15, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    No mas republicano fiesta!!! Once again you have the republicans pandering to a group of people who they don't give a rat's butt about. Vente an carajo republicanos!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    ELIZABETH WARREN 2012 & BEYOND

    February 15, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Have you noticed how the GOP has turned to crap under Prince Reebus?

    February 15, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. John in Brooklyn

    It is unfortunate that Ms. Sevilla Korn is so cynical that she fails to recognize that the quote, in fact, is a mocking parody of her own party's actual words used against them. It is both comic and tragic that political operatives like Ms. Sevilla Korn have no interest in actually looking at the facts of the situation – or even who originated the quote, for that matter – but, rather, inaccurately use it for her own narrow political agenda. Sadly, Ms. Sevilla Korn's behavior and rush to use this opportunity to claim that it is a demonstration is the Democrats' "empty...so-called outreach to Latinos" has actually only served to reveal her own willingness to disregard the genuine needs of Latinos of her own community and to play silly playground politics. In fact, if anyone needs to be chastised or "disavowed" it should be the Republicans doing it to her.

    February 15, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. julien vergara

    Not all of them. They bright and lucky people ,the republican

    February 15, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Lizzie

    Love the spin the liberals and democrats put on this.

    February 15, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Presto

    I really don't get it. The Milbank article was about how the GOP is being needlessly antagonistic to the Hispanic community, and that only outreach they seem to be doing is, literally, saying some nice things about chimichangas. Are they disputing this? What exactly is the outrage supposed to be about here?

    February 15, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. roscoe

    I don't understand the insult. What's wrong with a chimichanga?

    February 15, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. deanmyrick

    This whole piece and the feigned republican outrage is just stupid! We have such an enormous amount of information technology at our fingertips. We can do much, much better things than this with it.

    February 15, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    "Have you noticed how the GOP has turned to crap under Prince Reebus?"

    LOL! The GOBP is probably yearning for the days of Steele's lesbian strip club visits and shaky financial management.

    February 15, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Hollowright

    The picture at the top is incredible!

    February 15, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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