Tea Partier backtracks on GOP "doesn’t want black people to vote" comments

It "was a mistake" to offer up his "personal opinion," said Ken Emanuelson

Published June 5, 2013 2:05PM (EDT)

  (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-150571p1.html'>Andrey Burmakin</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(Andrey Burmakin via Shutterstock)

Texas Tea Party activist Ken Emanuelson said his comments about Republicans not wanting black people to vote were a "mistake," and that he shouldn't have expressed what is just his "personal opinion."

“I’m going to be real honest with you,” Emanuelson said in May at an event for the Dallas County GOP. “The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they are going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”

The Dallas Morning News reports that Emanuelson backtracked on his remarks in a statement:

“I expressed a personal opinion about what the Republican Party “wants.” That was a mistake. I hold no position of authority within the Republican Party and it wasn’t my place to opine on behalf of the desires of the Republican Party.

“What I meant, and should have said, is that it is not, in my personal opinion, in the interests of the Republican Party to spend its own time and energy working to generally increase the number of Democratic voters at the polls, and at this point in time, nine of every ten African American voters cast their votes for the Democratic Party.

Here's the original audio, obtained and posted the Democratic group Battleground Texas:

h/t HuffPost.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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African Americans Republicans Tea Party Texas Video Voting Rights