Chuck Grassley — The GOP’s Oldest And Totally In-Touch Senator — Congratulated a Korean American Judge For The ‘Hard Work Ethic’ Of ‘You And Your People’

If ever there was a case to be made for the need for term limits, one need look no further than Chuck Grassley. In late September, the longtime Republican lawmaker from the great state of Iowa—who, at 88, is the GOP’s oldest senator—announced his plans to run for yet another term in the most grandpa way possible:

(We’re assuming the video attached to the tweet is in fact footage of Grassley, and not a commercial for some sort of dementia medication.)

While Grassley seems to be working harder than his shower grab bars to prove that he’s still “with it” despite his advancing age, his brain—and mouth—seemed to hearken back to a previous decade on Wednesday when, during a senate confirmation hearing, he told Korean American judicial nominee Lucy Koh: “I congratulate you and your people” for her achievement, as The Washington Post reports. The comment, which reeked of racism, sparked an immediate backlash.

Judy Chu, a Democrat representing California’s 27th District in the U.S. House of Representatives and chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, was among the first to take issue with Grassley’s compliment-gone-wrong, tweeting that, “Even as a compliment, assigning any trait to a whole community is the definition of prejudice. Treating all members of a group as the same invites mistreatment. It may not be the same incitement to violence seen in other slurs, but is harmful nonetheless.”

Taylor Foy, Grassley’s spokesperson, was quick to issue a statement to the Des Moines Register clarifying his comments and insisting that Grassley was complimenting Koh and letting her know how touched he was by her story:

“Sen. Grassley’s intent was to be complimentary, not to insult anyone. Chairman Durbin invited Judge Koh to share the inspiring story of her family’s immigration to the United States. Sen. Grassley shared that he has similarly been inspired by the immigration story of his daughter-in-law, who is also Korean-American.”

For the record, Grassley’s full comment to Koh was this:

“What you said about your Korean background reminded me a lot of what my daughter-in-law of 45 years has said: ‘If I’ve learned anything from Korean people, it’s a hard work ethic. And how you can make a lot out of nothing.’ So I congratulate you and your people.”

Ummmm… Yep, still kinda racist.

(Via The Washington Post)