The Republican National Committee drew outrage for stoking an ethnic stereotype Sunday, tweeting a St. Patrick’s Day message of “please drink responsibly” with a doctored photo of Democratic presidential candidate — and “noted Irishman” — Beto O’Rourke’s 1998 mugshot for a DUI arrest.
On this St. Paddy’s Day, a special message from noted Irishman Robert Francis O’Rourke. pic.twitter.com/JRjMEXhZRY
— GOP (@GOP) March 17, 2019
Speaking in Wisconsin on Sunday, O’Rourke did not address the tweet directly, but spoke in more general terms about the state of political discourse: “We cannot meet this challenge with more partisanship, more pettiness, more meanness, more personal and partisan attacks.”
Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash was more blunt. “Do better, @GOP. Be better.”
A number of Republican strategists joined the criticism. Doug Stafford, chief strategist for Sen. Rand Paul, implied that whoever sent the tweet was an “idiot.”
If you think you’re funny or clever by stereotyping and making fun of any race or nationality to score political points, you’re an idiot, and you should probably not tweet. Do better @GOP @GOPChairwoman https://t.co/ASM24WdIDI
— Doug Stafford (@dougstafford) March 17, 2019
John Weaver, a strategist for former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, called the “vile tweet” an “attack on all races.”
This vile tweet is indicative of the bottom feeding @Gop led by this “president*” and his low traveling @GOPChairwoman. With Irish family members, as an American and a world citizen, this is an attack on all races. https://t.co/cctXb91wPU
— John Weaver (@jwgop) March 17, 2019
“As an Irishman this is deplorable. As an American it is unpatriotic. As a human it is racist,” tweeted Matthew Dowd, an analyst for ABC News and former strategist for President George W. Bush.
As an Irishman this is deplorable. As an American it is unpatriotic. As a human it is racist.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) March 17, 2019
They weren’t the only ones on social media questioning the tweet’s taste and strategic value.
Irish Americans are actually a pretty big segment of the electorate. There’s 30 million of us. GOP’s social media team thought it was a good idea to dunk on Beto by promoting negative Irish stereotypes on our holiday? https://t.co/rtlWKg7Yma
— Bryan Lowry (@BryanLowry3) March 17, 2019
Let me get this straight: the @GOP is mocking Beto O’Rourke by deploying vicious anti-Irish stereotypes that have historically been used to marginalize Irish immigrants and citizens while ignoring that Bush, Cheney, and Matt Gaetz have four DUIs between them. Classy. https://t.co/swSQDGbvsZ
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 17, 2019
The GOP in not just pushing forward a “drunk Irish” caricature or highlighting Beto not being Latino.
To Christian Evangelicals:
suspicious for possible ”dual loyalties” in re the Pope
This is a bigoted trope dating back more than a century. pic.twitter.com/sMPYvOyYQy
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) March 17, 2019