No one can say for sure whether incumbent candidates ought to be confident or concerned this fall, but Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) is definitely the latter. And a recent, racially charged comment she made in a televised interview made her seem particularly paranoid.
Sanchez’s opponent, Van Tran, is Republican and of Vietnamese descent. And Sanchez takes issue with both his political affiliation and his ethnic group in her remark. “The Vietnamese and the Republicans are—with an intensity—trying to take away this seat that we have done so much for our community ... take away this seat from us and give it to this Van Tran, who’s very anti-immigrant and very anti-Latino,” read the subtitles of the video, recorded in Spanish.
Her campaign has defended her, saying she meant only that there were groups of Vietnamese-Americans supporting her opponent, not that she has anything against the ethnicity as a whole.
But Tran’s camp has voiced its concern about her comment, saying, “Her attack against immigrants and the Vietnamese community on national television is shocking.” The Tran campaign also turned her anti-immigration accusations back on her, saying her comments were offensive to Vietnamese immigrants, who make up nearly 10 percent of the district’s constituents, according to an article in the Orange County Register.
If Sanchez continues to utter convoluted gaffes that are seen as offensive, no one will be taking her seat away from her—Tran is likely to win it fair and square.