Rep. Ed Case Tells Asian Crowd 'I'm An Asian Trapped In A White Body'

Speaking at a reception Tuesday night to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander members of the 116th Congress, Rep. Ed Case told the crowd he felt like he was one of them.

Case, a Hawaii Democrat, reportedly told the crowd, "I'm an Asian trapped in a white body," according to Nicholas Wu of the National Journal, who was in attendance and supplied the world a snapshot of Case addressing the crowd.

Congressman Ed Case, who represents a majority Asian district in Honolulu - “I’m an Asian trapped in a white body”

— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) January 16, 2019

Case's office emailed the Washington Post to let them know he was "fiercely proud" to represent the Aloha State, and noted that his district, which includes much of Honolulu, has the highest percentage of Asian population in the country.

"Like so many others from Hawaii who treasure our multicultural heritage, I have absorbed and live the values of our many cultures," Case said in the Post. "They and not my specific ethnicity are who I am, and I believe that this makes me an effective advocate on national issues affecting our API community."

The email continued by saying he didn't mean to offend anyone by his remark, which his spokesperson said is something often uttered to him by his Japanese-American wife.

"I regret if my specific remarks to the national API community on my full absorption of their concerns caused any offense," the email read. It continued to say Case was a returning executive committee member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American caucus from his previous service in Washington.

Case served in Congress from 2002-07 and ran as a Senate Democrat nominee in 2006 and 2012 — losing both times in the primary.

In 2018, Case defeated six opponents in the primary — most of them Asian American — to win the Democratic nomination for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District. Case then won the November General Election by defeating Republican nominee Cam Cavasso and three other candidates.

Hawaii's 1st Congressional District is 51 percent Asian, followed by 17.5 percent white, 7.8 percent Hispanic, 7.6 percent Pacific Islander and 2.4 percent black.

Rep. Ed Case formerly represented Hawaii in the House when he succeeded the great Patsy Mink upon her passing. In 2018, he defeated half a dozen other Democratic candidates in the primary—almost all Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander candidates—to win this seat.

— alton wang (@altonwang) January 16, 2019

Before getting back into politics after his back-to-back losses for the senate seat, Case reportedly worked as an executive for the Outrigger hotel chain, even saying his political days were most likely over, according to Hawaii News Now.