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. logicnLA

    An Hispanic quoted something said by a uber-white Republican and the RNC is demanding an apology? Seriously?

    February 15, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Brad

    You guys are really reaching now... A retweet about food is now offensive and a huge deal? Here's a tip: If you can't find anyone other than Republican/Conservatives who have issues with this, it's not a news story...

    February 15, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Texas Doc

    Yeah, that's going to work. Latinos everywhere will suddenly relaize that the GOP loves them because of this. The Latino community knows one thing about Republicans, it is that the GOP hates them and wants them all to fry on their electric fence or get eaten in alligator filled moats. Vivia La Raza Y Viva Presidente Obama!

    February 15, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. gt

    he is right obama promise everything to everyone..... truth is the only thing most americans and hispanics want are jobs and to be left alone to make a living and raise a family as they see fit ...

    February 15, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I didn't thing the GOP even had this much to offer them. Get over it.

    February 15, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Olaf Big

    No traction there. I can't see Latinos getting offended by Messina's tweet. Hope he is smart enough not to apologize for a pointed but completely appropriate comment.

    February 15, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Montanan

    Wow, the Republicans are worried about somebody ELSE being politically incorrect or insensitive?! Ha! Funny. Of course, everyone knows that the joke was about how Republicans don't get anything ethnic, not a racial slur against Latinos. Jeez. Even the Repubs must understand that, or they are more dense than even I think they are.

    February 15, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Matteo

    Amazing how these politicians can jump up and down at every insignificant comment. They moved right on with the whole contraceptives insurance thing. However, they can'd do squat about all the unemployed, homeless, insuranceless, and hungry people in the country.

    February 15, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. NOvember 2012

    hey obama....you can't buy all the votes...what a comment "all the top can offer"...tells you the truth at least.

    February 15, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Expat American

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

    Republicans arguing that anything is ‘insensitive’ mirrors Vichy Collaborators complaining of ‘mistreatment’ after Liberation.

    February 15, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Never mind the lie that Sen. McCain told. Can enough lettuce to feed the country be grown in the Arizona deserts?

    February 15, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Noodle Nose Johnson

    More manufactured outrage from the right wing. Love how they chastised the Republican mayor for his "taco" comment. Oh wait, they never said a word, did they?

    February 15, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Larry in Houston

    To Be perfectly honest – the state where I was from – IF you wanted "Mexican Food" Taco Bell was all there was, and I didn't know about "mexican food" til Taco Bell went in. So- that being said – I've learned a lot in the last 7 yrs. ( for sure) But I'm finally getting to the point where I really Like Mexican Food.

    February 15, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Tired of republican lies

    Stupid repubs...did you read the article? Messina tweeted what Milbank said...You people hate so much, you read passed the facts...I can't get over you people and your B.S....smdh

    February 15, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. bruce

    Hey Obama, along with most of the GOP...how about focusing on violating your oath of office by passing the 2012 NDAA and re-authorizing the "patriot" act. Only one candidate will actualy take the oath seriously and abide by it....and that is Ron Paul

    February 15, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. TomNPitt

    How did this woman even get quoted on this? I'd love to be able to get dribble published. Does she get paid by the paper, the republicans or the government – in tax credits?

    February 15, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Wow! RNC is desperate!

    The RNC , Republicans, Tea Party and GOP Presidential candidates are a hot mess!

    February 15, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    Hmmm, a joke that essentially captures the truth about the GOBP deathcult's lack of ideas and policies gets the GOBP deathcult's panties in wad. Whatta bunch of cowards. They can dish it out but they sure can't take it. They sure do love to play the victim when they called out on their sorry excuse for a party.

    February 15, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. sonny chapman

    What happened to that George W. swagger? You know, the one he used when he strutted across the air craft carrier after taking off his little pilot's suit & stood underneath the giant, "Mission Accomplished" banner. It was once the pride of the Repub. Party.

    February 15, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. george of the jungle

    the republican party is getting desperate. Come on now we make a big deal out of food. And quoting a rep at that! Obama/Biden 2012 stop the nonsense and move forward

    February 15, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. J from NC

    The lettuce in your salad this month almost certainly came picked by Mexican laborers.

    February 15, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Patrick

    I'm confused. They're arguing that the comment was insensitive to Hispanics? Is that because not all of them eat/like chimichangas? Because it seems more like it's targeting the GOP, not Hispanic people. Am I crazy?

    February 15, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Taylor

    And what the point CNN

    February 15, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. CO

    Please, then these Repuss should ask themselves if what Pete Hoekstra isn't worse, he posted a f***d Up ad during the Superbowl attacking Asian-american. That is Publicly Racist!

    February 15, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Vanessa

    Don't u worry, because we, the hispanics didn't get offended.. what we do find offensive is the GOP now trying to get our votes. We don't forget just what they've tried to do. Please spare us the hypocrisy! Hispanics 4 Obama all the way! Si se puede!

    February 15, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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