Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today denounced Tea Party congressional candidate Gabriela Saucedo Mercer's accusation that he is a Marxist who is "agitating . . . the Mexican population to foment a revolution." In interviews last year and earlier this year, Mercer said Grijalva's allegiance "is not to the United States" and that "he hates the American way," and claimed inaccurately that he created Tucson Unified School District's Mexican American Studies (MAS) program to lead Hispanic high school students in a violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
Today's newly released footage includes Mercer's claim that MAS teachers are "going after the vulnerable children with a tumultuous home life," offering to "make them famous," and "telling them to rise up in arms and overthrow the government."
This follows last week's revelations of Mercer's claim that Middle Easterners' "only goal in life is to cause harm to the United States." In that interview, Mercer asked, "So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?" She has since claimed at different times that she may have misspoken, that the video was edited misleadingly, that she was only talking about terrorists -- which the context shows not to be the case -- or that "the LIBERAL MEDIA" is to blame.
"Mrs. Mercer has tried to turn the ongoing story of her hate speech and conspiracy theories into a story about media bias and attempted slander, as though her own words are somehow off limits," Rep. Grijalva said. "If she wants to debate serious issues like job creation, education and health care, as the voters prefer, all she has to do is say so. She seems more interested in pandering to comfortable audiences."
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Secretary of State Ken Bennett and multiple other Republican party officials have endorsed Mercer, and Brewer is holding a fundraiser with Mercer in Tucson on Sept. 12. None of her prominent backers have denounced her remarks. A full list of her supporters, including well-known anti-Muslim William Boykin, is available at her Web site.