NM GOP Official Quits Over Remarks About Blacks

Newsmax, September 25, 2008

The chairman of the Republican Party in New Mexico’s most populous county resigned Thursday, nearly a week after saying “Hispanics consider themselves above blacks” and won’t vote for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Fernando C de Baca’s resignation as GOP chairman in Bernalillo County was announced by state GOP Chairman Allen Weh, one of several top New Mexico Republicans who had called for him to step down.

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C de Baca, 70, was quoted in a BBC News blog last week as saying: “The truth is that Hispanics came here as conquerors. African-Americans came here as slaves. Hispanics consider themselves above blacks. They won’t vote for a black president.”

C de Baca had maintained his comments were taken out of context, explaining he was referring to views held by some in the generation of Hispanics who grew up before the civil rights movement. “Those were not my beliefs,” he said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the BBC defended the report as accurate. Pressure on C de Baca to resign grew with the release of audio from a second BBC interview.

In that interview, he said older Hispanics would not support Obama “primarily because there is a strong feeling that African Americans during the civil rights movement took advantage, full advantage, of all the benefits and programs that the government offered, that were supposed to be offered to all minorities. But we were left behind, we were left sucking air, and we resented that ever since the ‘60s, and I don’t see how a black president is going to change that.”

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The remarks drew widespread criticism from black leaders, Democrats and high-profile Republicans, including Sen. Pete Domenici.

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