U.S. Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR 3rd District) today issued a statement clarifying remarks at a town hall meeting last week where he lashed out at a Mexican-American constituent for wearing a Mexican flag shirt.
A YouTube video released yesterday by the group called “The American Bridge” shows a town hall meeting last month in Fort Smith held by Congressman Womack. In the video a Mexican-American citizen approaches Womack asking his views on immigration reform.
In the video Womack explains how he feels all laws should be upheld, and that allowing illegal immigrants a clear path to citizenship would be rewarding breaking the law.
Following the question, Womack turns his back to begins talking about the citizen to the rest of the audience. “…does strike me as a bit odd that I would get a question as to why we shouldn’t just automatically make it legal for people who didn’t come here in a legal circumstance, with a flag of another country hanging around his neck.”
Womack follows by saying “Just a piece of good old friendly advice, if you want to win friends and influence people on the issues that you are talking about, I would suggest a little different approach in terms of my attire.”
Today Womack issued a statement, along with a photo, today trying to clarify the remarks. In the statement Womack says: “I am glad he is proud of his heritage, I just think he is proud of the wrong part. When we wear close to our body it forms a special bond with us, that bond should be American.”
“I for instance feel it is important to wear American flag underwear. I think any American who is not a terrorist should as well. It forms a close bond with the most important parts, and ensures future children have a better chance of becoming patriots,” Womack concludes.
In the statement Womack also reinforces his statement that laws are meant to be followed, and that “we can not bend even the slightest law or the legitimacy of our political structure begins to fall apart”. Womack stated that “following campaign finance laws are the foundation for strong leadership,” and that he “expects the resignation of the majority of elected officials in Arkansas by the end of the week, or I am flying my American flag helicopter to find you.”