A video of a Republican congressional candidate in Southern Arizona is causing a stir on Election Day. The controversy stems from comments she made about people of Middle Eastern descent.
Self-proclaimed Tea Partier Gabriela Saucedo Mercer is running in Congressional District 3, which includes a big part of Southwestern Arizona. In an interview with the right-leaning website Western Free Press, Saucedo Mercer questions why Middle Easterners would be allowed in the United States.
"A lot of them, they look Mexican, or they look like a lot of people from South America, with dark skin, and they mix. They mix in. And those people, their only goal in life is to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?" Saucedo Mercer said in the interview.
The video was published earlier, but it has gotten attention on Arizona’s primary day after Talking Points Memo broke the story.
The Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called the comments bigoted, and is asking state Republican leaders to repudiate them.
“Her un-American and intolerant remarks are an insult to the millions of Americans of Middle Eastern heritage who have contributed so much to this great nation," CAIR-AZ Board Member Imraan Siddiqi said in a statement.
According to her campaign website, Saucedo Mercer emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in 1986 and became a U.S. citizen in 1991.
Multiple attempts to reach Saucedo Mercer were not successful.