Loretta Sanchez Says Vietnamese Are Trying to Defeat Her

Opponent demands apology

Political blogs and Republican forums are buzzing with the seemingly racist comments of Orange County Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

Sanchez told a reporter in an interview that "the Vietnamese" and Republicans are trying to take her seat in Congress.

The comments are being put in the spotlight in posts on political forums Hot Air and Andrew Breitbart's network.

"The Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, (trying) to take this seat – this seat (from which) we have done so much for our community – to take this seat and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic," Sanchez said in an interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, according to a translation by the Orange County Register.

The comments are causing a backlash for the seven-term incumbent Congresswoman in her impending election, running against Republican Assemblyman Van Tran.

Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant, whose family fled Vietnam before the fall of Saigon, was shocked at the remarks and asked for an apology Thursday. Tran's camp said that the 47th Congressional district belongs to the people and not an individual ethnicity.

In the close congressional race, speculations are being made that Sanchez's gaffe will only help Tran's campaign, which is strengthened from the growing participation of the Vietnamese community of the district, which makes up almost 10 percent of the population, reported the LA Times.

Sanchez later released a statement qualifying her comments as referring to members of the Vietnamese community who are supporting Tran and not the Vietnamese population as a whole.

The district is 70 percent Hispanic and 9.5 percent Vietnamese, with half of its residents were born outside the U.S.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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