Pro-Trump Congressman Suggests Talking About Racism Is Un-American

A GOP congressman appeared to blast Democrats during a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox and Friends, telling the television hosts that his colleagues across the aisle spend too much time talking about racial inequality in the U.S.

"I had 30 minutes of Democrats coming down and talking about how bad automobile people are because they discriminate against nonwhite buyers," said Pennsylvania Representative Mike Kelly. "I said that's not America. We don't talk about those things."

His appearance came as Pennsylvania voters head to the polls for the widely-watched primary race in newly drawn districts.

The congressman, who has ties to car dealerships, was referring to a widely publicized debate between him and California Representative Maxine Waters last week over the Republican-controlled House's decision to rescind Obama-era protections against auto lending discrimination. Walters had brought up one of several studies that stated black people were more likely to be turned down for car loans than their white counterparts, and also said women were unfairly discriminated against in the industry.

Kelly, who owns a dealership, blasted the remarks and said leaders should instead focus on other issues than racial disparity. He also said the suggestion was insulting to car dealers.

"We are trying to make sure that we're making America great, every day in every way," the congressman said. "And the best way to do that is to stop talking about discrimination and start talking about the nation."

During his Tuesday appearance, which was first reported by ThinkProgress, the congressman also credited President Donald Trump with trying to heal the country's racial divide and accused Democrats of sowing racial tensions.

"It is so uplifting," he said, referring to Trump's presidency. "I mean, listen, we are still the United States of America, not Divided States of America, and if we can't talk better than what happened on the floor the other day."

He then added, "Every single person demagoguing and talking about how bad automobile people are. It's just not true." Kelly, who has been serving in the House since 2011, has rebuffed calls from Democrats to apologize for his part in the fiery exchange, which quickly went viral.

After attending college, the congressman worked at a Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership founded by his father. According to a biography on his website, Kelly assumed ownership of the dealership in the 1990s and then expanded it to include other car manufacturers.

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U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) speaks during a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee June 4, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The congressman got into a heated debate with Rep. Maxine Waters last week and continued blasting Democrats on Tuesday. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Pro-Trump Congressman Suggests Talking About Racism Is Un-American | U.S.