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Ellison, Fields Clash Over Whether GOP is ‘Bigoted’

Ellison said the Republican Party ‘is basically a bigoted party.’ Fields responded that the incumbent is trying to shut down opposing viewpoints.

Republican 5th District Challenger Chris Fields is attacking Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison’s portrayal of the GOP as “bigoted” in an article Thursday.

The incumbent told Mother Jones that a part of the Republican Party platform alluding that the United States is threatened by Islamic Shariah law “is an expression of bigotry,” adding later:

And this is the thing: I don't mind debating taxes and spending; we probably should. But they're the party that is basically a bigoted party and they have now officially declared themselves against a whole segment of the American population, because if we said we were going to put a plank opposing Jewish law, or Catholic canon, it would be an outrage. This is also an outrage. But you know, it'll pass.

Fields fired back in a fundraising letter to supporters:

In an interview yesterday with the liberal blog Mother Jones, Keith Ellison expressed his hatred for the Republican Party when he blasted the GOP as “a bigoted party”. … As always, Ellison has been trying to rid politics of any and all opposing thought.  Opposed to his, that is.

Is this the type of rhetoric and behavior you want from a sitting Congressman?  I certainly don’t!

Fields also slammed at the Democratic National Convention. Ellison encouraged Bay State Democrats to campaign for Elizabeth Warren, who is in a close contest with first-term U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.

"Other than re-electing Barack Obama, reclaiming the seat of Teddy Kennedy is the most quintessential priority of our party," Ellison said.

Fields said Ellison’s priorities are mixed up:

Which state does Keith Ellison represent—Minnesota or Massachusetts?

Based on the lack of time he spends in the 5th District and his antics at the Democratic National Convention this week, you’d think Massachusetts! 
Now I may not have a law degree like Ellison, but last time I read the Constitution, it didn’t say one of the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seats
belongs to the Democratic Party.  Unfortunately, Ellison believes that he and his Washington insider colleagues are entitled to their seats.  He couldn’t be more wrong.

Meanwhile, Ellison has also had worries about his own party. At a meeting of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus in Charlotte, he shared his thoughts on a part of the Democratic platform that references Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel.

That's an unfortunate circumstance. This is a serious conflict which requires real focus and the world needs a solution to it. It should not be reduced to whose platform is more pro-Israel. It's a game that we're playing. But we're playing a game with people's lives.

Andy Jacobson September 07, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Keith Ellison believes he is so entitled to this congressional seat that he doesn't even bother to campaign. He denies the people if the fifth the chance to hear all views surrounding an issue. We need someone who respects the people of the fifth district regardless of political persuasion.
Denise Mazone September 07, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Keith Ellison is campaigning with as much enthusiasm as he did the first time. He listens with open ears and with respect to all!
Aleks Hindin September 07, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Whose view has Rep. Ellison kept you from hearing? How has he done that?
Aleks Hindin September 07, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Does Mr. Fields ever bring the volume below 11? We already have one Rep. Bachmann. We don't need a second.
Emily B September 07, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Kind of like Bachmann thinks she's entitled to hers? Pretty sure she spends more of her time stumping around the country than in MN, so if that's the litmus...
Emily B September 07, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I think Ellison's comment referring to the GOP as a bigoted party is unfortunate and unhelpful to facilitate civil political discourse. I know a lot of members who are not bigoted at all. However, the GOP platform is also unfortunate, so I can understand Keith's frustration, and actually, his first quote about it being "an expression of bigotry" is more accurate, as it refers to the platform and not a full generalization of the party. Also, to Mr. Fields, you can bash Ellison all you want for supporting Warren, but news flash - these days, for better or worse, a HUGE part of the job for all members of Congress is trying to get other people elected. It really sucks, which is why we need major campaign finance reform, but its true, so please don't pretend Keith is the only one... just take a look at GOP darling Michele. How much time does she spend in MN?
Dale Butler September 07, 2012 at 10:32 PM
If the GOP platform promotes bigotry and party members support the platform then they are as guilty as the platform. Mr. Ellison is not preventing Mr. fields from getting his message out, he has plenty of resources through his party.
guy davidson September 08, 2012 at 05:12 AM
funny - with a black president in office - these gentlemen are complaining about political bigotry... Seems the opposite is true. Issue wise though - go with Chris Fields - Ellison is so far out of touch he may as well be on the moon.
Jennifer September 09, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Having a "black president in office" has nothing to do with the bigoted Republican party platform. Issue wise the GOP is scapegoating all kinds of innocent people in our country just to whip up fear and all this just to get votes. The GOP has no real policies to consider. It's disgusting how they have let their party be hijacked by extremists. Ellison is the far better politician. He actually cares and understands what's happening. For instance, he's trying to protect our fundamental right to vote rather than supporting measures to restrict it. Guy, I think you must live on the moon.

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