Mitch McConnell Addresses His Comment Comparing 'African_freckle removal south africa

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  • Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellAmerican politician
Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Sen. Mitch McConnell         

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is explaining a remark made Wednesday in which he briefly compared "African-American voters" to "Americans" — and drew immediate criticism from congressional Democrats who argued he was separating out Black people from the rest of the country. 

His office says he was referring to turnout rates among the electorate. But that didn't quell the outrage in some circles.

"This is 2022 and being American is not synonymous with looking or thinking like you," Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin said in a statement to McConnell on Thursday, part of a larger wave of backlash from Democratic lawmakers and social media users.

"Please take 19 seconds to watch this video to understand why we have to fight for voting rights for ALL Americans," California Rep. Judy Chu wrote on Twitter, sharing a viral clip of McConnell's comment. 

The Kentucky lawmaker, 79, had been answering a question at a press conference about voting access and possible concerns from non-white voters. 

"Well, the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans. [In] a recent survey, 94 percent of Americans thought it was easy to vote. This is not a problem," he said. "Turnout is up. Biggest turnout since 1900. It's simply— they're being sold a bill of goods to support a Democratic effort to federalize elections. … This goes back 20 years, the excuses change from time to time."

McConnell also contended that Democratic states like New York have more election restrictions in place on voting than Republican states do. 

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The issue has been at the forefront of the Democratic majority's agenda in Washington, D.C., with many in the party and outside advocates arguing federal legislation is needed to ensure conservatives cannot impose undue restrictions at the ballot box — obstacles like who can use mail-in votes, what forms of identification are required and when polling places are open.

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