Minnesota’s first black congressman, Rep. Keith Ellison, said Wednesday that some people within the Tea Party have "expressed extreme racist views.”
At a Democratic National Committee press conference, Ellison said he approved of the NAACP’s resolution that called on Tea Party leaders to “repudiate racist elements” in the Tea Party, Politico reported.
“I think there have been some individuals associating themselves with the Tea Party that have expressed extreme racist views, and I think the Tea Party as a movement should disavow those people,” Ellison said. “If they don’t disavow it, they’re going to be associated with it.”
The press conference was held Wednesday to bolster a Democratic election strategy to tie Republicans to the Tea Party, hoping that moderates will be turned off by some of the Tea Party’s more extreme views, which Democrats claim include repealing health care and Wall Street reform as well as the 17th Amendment (direct election of senators).
Tea Party groups have argued that they are not tied to any political party and the movement doesn't have a designated leader or structured organization.