Watch Accountable Senate War Room’s video shedding light on Senate Republicans’ use of coded, racist language — especially the word “radical” — to smear Biden’s nominees of color

Senate Republicans and their special interest backers have launched  a coordinated effort to smear nominees of color using fear-mongering and historically racist language

Accountable Senate War Room: “The racially coded mudslinging and baseless smears uniquely propagated against Biden’s nominees of color take these members’ malpractice to an entirely new level”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Accountable Senate War Room released a video shedding light on the disproportionate delays, obstruction, and use of coded language with racist undertones that President Biden’s qualified nominees of color have faced from several Republican senators. The video was released as Vanita Gupta, Biden’s nominee for associate Attorney General, faced baseless attacks by many members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Republicans use harsher attacks for President Biden’s Cabinet nominees of color at a higher rate — frequently referring to them as “radical” – than they do Biden’s white nominees.

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Biden’s highly qualified and historically diverse Cabinet would upend the status quo and rein in the special interests and corporate donors that for too long have benefitted while working families are left behind. While most of Biden’s nominees have experienced some form of opposition, an analysis from Accountable.US shows that Senate Republicans use harsher language for President Biden’s Cabinet nominees of color at a higher rate than the language they use to discuss white nominees. The use of ‘radical’ in particular has been the go-to attack for many Republican senators attempting to smear Biden’s nominees of color, including Vanita Gupta, Xavier Becerra, Deb Haaland, Alejandro Mayorkas, and Kristen Clarke. The word ‘radical’ has been chided as a racist, sexist “dogwhistle” by the Billings Gazette Editorial Board.

Now, the special interest allies are joining in, in what appears to be a coordinated effort to paint many of Biden’s nominees of color as radical and extreme.

“For months Senate Republicans have leaned on false, bad-faith arguments to delay and oppose President Biden’s crisis-tested and qualified Cabinet nominees, but the racially coded mudslinging and baseless smears uniquely propagated against his nominees of color take these members’ obstruction to an entirely new level,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for Accountable Senate War Room. “Now, we’re seeing this bigotry in full swing online and in attack ads as rightwing groups do the bidding for Republican senators.”

Below is a look at how Republican senators and their special interest backers have come together across Twitter to smear nominees of color:

Xavier Becerra, Health and Human Services

Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) has called Becerra a “radical” and an “under-qualified” nominee to serve in such a “critical post,” and Senator Tom Cotton has said the HHS nominee has “embrace[d] radical policies” that “render him unfit for any position of public trust.” Now, that sensationalized messaging has moved from the press release to the Twitter page of dozens of online groups.

Rep. Deb Haaland, Interior

Haaland has faced smears from Senator Daines claiming she would support “radical issues that will hurt Montana, our way of life, our jobs and rural America.” Senator Barrasso was quick to echo criticism of Haaland’s so-called “radical views” and Senator Cotton shortly after hopped on the train, calling the Interior nominee an “unqualified radical.”

Vanita Gupta, Associate Attorney General

During today’s hearing, Gupta faced hostility from multiple Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Mike Lee has also said Gupta’s previous positions were “dangerous” and “radical.” The Judicial Crisis Network went as far to say Gupta was a “dangerous appointee” and, today, launched a $1M attack ad against her invoking the ‘radical’ smear.

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