Two Asian-American lawmakers from New Jersey today bashed President Donald Trump raising questions about Kamala Harris’ eligibility to serve as vice president because her parents were immigrants and she was an anchor baby.
“This was racist when he did it to Barack Obama twelve years ago and it’s racist when he does it to Kamala Harris today,” said Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) said on Twitter. “Plain, simple, and grossly unacceptable.”
Asked today if Harris meets the legal requirements to run for vice president, Trump commented without commenting and praised the lawyer
“I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements – and by the way, the lawyer who wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer — I have no idea if that’s right,” Trump said at a White House news conference. “I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.”
Senate Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) said Trump was wrong to question whether Obama was born in this country — “even after he was proved wrong” – and wrong to question Ted Cruz’s eligibility four years ago.
“It is wrong now for him, again, based on nothing but one’s ethnicity, to question whether Kamala Harris is eligible to serve as president,” Gopal said. “The President’s history of questioning whether individuals are eligible to serve as President purely on their ethnicity is disgraceful and straight up racism at its worst. I wish he could focus on actual policies and not playing to race.”
The controversy began on Wednesday when Newsweek published an opinion piece by law professor John Eastman suggesting that the Harris might face questions because her father was Jamaican and her mother was Indian and neither was a citizen when the Democratic vice presidential candidate was born in Oakland in 1964.
Gopal said he wished Trump could “focus on actual policies and not playing to race.”
“Want to question her policy positions? Fine. But going after one’s race based on nothing. Disgusting,” the Monmouth County senator said.
Kim is the first Asian-American to represent New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives and Gopal is the first Indian American to serve in the New Jersey State Senate.