Embattled Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) is down in the polls… and he didn’t help himself on Tuesday night, after an uncomfortable discussion about race.
During his debate against his two challengers, Republican Mike Braun and Libertarian Lucy Brenton, Donnelly touted the different minorities that work on his staff.
“Our state director is Indian-American, but he does an amazing job,” Donnelly said. “Our director of all constituent services, she’s African-American, but she does an even more incredible job than you could ever imagine.”
As conservative pundit Erick Erickson put it: “He said ‘but’ and he should have said ‘and.’ Oh boy.”
Tony Katz of WIBC, a local news station in Indianapolis, seemed to agree, calling Donnelly’s comments his “Mourdock Moment”—a reference to a controversial statement about rape made by the Indiana Republican senatorial candidate made in 2012, which incidentally allowed Donnelly to win in the first place.
Katz added: “Donnelly did what a guy three points down with a week to go could not do; he provided a gaffe of the kind that Never Trumpers would say is indicative of Trump supporters. Add to it Donnelly’s desire to get Braun to screw up this way, and it only compounds the gaffe.”
Both the video clip and transcript of Donnelly’s statements went viral, as of Wednesday morning.