The leftie blogs attacking Sen. Jason Rapert today should come as a surprise to no one. A straight talking conservative senator elected as part of the Tea Party movement in 2010 advanced perhaps the most pro-life legislation in the country yesterday.
This morning left-leaning blogs released a video from a Tea Party rally several years back that tries to paint him as a racist.
Dog bites man.
This evening, Sen. Rapert responded to the attacks in an interview with The Tolbert Report.
“This attack is not about me or alleged racism, it is about the rage of the liberal left because we are standing up for life in Arkansas,” said Rapert.
The comments being circulated are from a Tea Party rally back in April 2011. They showed up Friday morning from a national blogger named Lee Fang of The Nation who has made a name for himself posting videos of tea parties in an attempt to paint conservatives as racists. Conservatives hate him. Liberals love him. Think of a liberal small-time version of James O’Keefe.
The comments receiving focus have to do with a portion of Rapert’s speech where he discussed “minorities.” Here, context is key.
Here is the quote The Nation posted in an edited video (emphasis mine)…
“I hear you loud and clear, Barack Obama. You don’t represent the country that I grew up with. And your values is not going to save us. We’re going to take this country back for the Lord. We’re going to try to take this country back for conservatism. And we’re not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in!”
So what did he mean by minorities? A separate portion of the video (see below) sheds light on this (again emphasis mine). Before the above remark, Rapert addressed the case in which the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the ban of gay foster parents saying…
“Here in Arkansas we tried to do something about our values on that. We said ‘You know what. Where we have foster children, we want them to be in a good home with a mommy and a daddy.’ Do ya’ll think that’s alright? Well, right here the other day a bunch of your Supreme Court Justices just struck it down – said your vote don’t count. I am here to tell you that we are a people who is ruled by a majority in this country. And I am tired of minority interests that are running roughshod over you and me.”
It is clear with that context from earlier in the same speech that Rapert was talking about courts overturning the votes of the majority of voters in favor of the minority of voters and not talking about an ethic group.
“The majority of people in Arkansas oppose the policies of President Obama, including his health care law,” Rapert explained further to me Friday evening. “Those Arkansans that support the President’s policies are in the minority, and in 2011 it was those minority political viewpoints that our leaders were using to govern hardworking Arkansas taxpayers who hold common sense conservative ideals. I resent any false accusation or false allegation that personally attacks me or my family, or attacks my character in order to advance a political agenda. We saw too many of these types of personal attacks from Democrats in 2012 and voters rejected those attacks by electing conservative majorities to the Arkansas legislature.”
The explanation fits in line with the full unedited version of the video. It is also worth noting that Rapert just won a heated re-election campaign with a ton of money spent on opposition research. The fact that his opponent did not ever mention this video, which has been posted for almost two years now, and never charged Rapert with all sorts of racism speaks volumes.
“The point of the article was to attack the legislation. It is another example of liberals trying to kill pro-life legislation, and we’ve seen that before here in Arkansas,” said Rapert. “The baseless charge of racism is desperation. A man should be judged by the fruits he bears in his life and my life and works show clearly I am no racist. This attack is about the Heartbeat Bill and the fact that it is very close to passing in our state.”
Love him or hate him – Sen. Rapert speaks his mind and does not hold back. But he is not a racist.