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Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 10/21/2010

Candidate's Tea Party gaffe in MoCo race

By Washington Post editors

Democrat Hans Riemer stumbled into a gaffe in the final moments of a debate Wednesday night among candidates seeking the four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council, reporter Michael Laris tells us.

Earlier in the Rockville debate, Republican candidate Mark D. Fennel, membership director for the Washington-based group Citizens Against Government Waste, said he considers himself a Tea Party activist.

In his closing remarks, Riemer asked: "What would it be like to have a Tea Party candidate on the Montgomery County Council?" Then Riemer added: "The Tea Party is associated with racism."

That prompted loud howls and boos from the crowd of 30. When a moderator said the audience should "keep it respectful," retired public school teacher Carolyn Darne yelled out from the crowd: "Respect? He just called us racist."

When it was Fennel's turn to speak, he calmly challenged Riemer.

"My spouse is from Honduras. My son is half Honduran. I hope you're not referring to me as a racist, especially considering that she's half African-American as well, and half Hispanic."

"And I wasn't, I wasn't," Riemer said.

Read more about the debate at Maryland Politics.

By Washington Post editors  | October 21, 2010; 12:07 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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Comments

Calling the tea party racist is as stupid as calling all liberals anarchists or communists. This is why people hate politics.

Posted by: thebossman | October 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Hans Riemer gets my vote. Finally an honest politician who speaks his mind.
He just said the tea party is "associated" with racism. He didn't say everyone in the tea party was a racist or everything they support is racist.
I've seen the rallies and heard the rheteroic and agree with his statement.
There is a strong element of racism associated with the tea party and until they admit it and ferret it out, it will stain them.

Posted by: MarilynManson | October 21, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

It's a logical fallacy. No one denies that the occasional racist "associates" themself with the tea party, even though the vast majority of them are not racist and will repudate racism in an instant. Under your (and Riemer's) "logic", we can infer that all democrats are klan members, because the klan was historically associated with the democratic party. We can say that all liberals are communists, because some communists associate themselves with the democratic party. Do you see where I'm going with this? Don't play ignorant, use your head.

Posted by: thebossman | October 21, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

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