As we've been covering for the past few weeks, Jay Chen has been doubling down on racist remarks towards Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA) as he runs to unseat her in the November midterm elections. Footage from last month showed Chen saying "you kind of need an interpreter" about the congresswoman, who was born in South Korea and speaks English as her third language. He has also called her "incoherent." In addition to denying that he was racist in an op-ed for The Orange County Register soon after he was called out, Chen has also taken to fundraising off of the accusations of racism.
Chen himself emphasized the response to his racist comments. With original emphasis part of the email from April 25 read:
This month, our campaign faced a wave of coordinated attacks and false accusations of racism. We heard it from Michelle Steel, the far-right media, and even Kevin McCarthy. It's clear that Steel and the GOP are getting desperate. It's a reminder that disinformation is still a tool in the GOP's arsenal that we must contend with.
I'm no stranger to baseless attacks, and I know that our best possible response is to send a message of grassroots strength heading into the Primary Election.
Here's the blunt truth about Steel:
She's pushing these false attacks to distract from her own hypocrisy and failed record.
This is who Michelle Steel is, and it's why this campaign is much bigger than just flipping this House seat -- it's about restoring dignity to Congress and holding bad politicians accountable:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had indeed weighed in to stand up for the congresswoman, who shared his comments with Fox News Digital, who were first to report on the comments. McCarthy called on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee "to immediately disavow and remove" Chen from their "Red to Blue" program. He also called Chen's remarks "disgraceful" and Rep. Steel "an inspiration."
The DCCC was offered a chance to disavow Chen's remarks, but refused to do so and made it further about Leader McCarthy, as Isaac Schorr noted in his reporting for National Review Online, also accusing McCarthy of "gaslighting and deception."
Over a month following Chen's remarks at the April 7 meet and greet in the Congregation B’nai Tzedek synagogue in Fountain Valley, California, concerned citizens continue to express their displeasure with Chen.
.@jfchen is still taking heat from locals weeks after he told supporters you “need an interpreter” to understand what Congresswoman @MichelleSteelCA is saying.— Torunn Sinclair (@TorunnSinclair) May 13, 2022
Why won’t he apologize for his xenophobic comments? #CA45
>>> https://t.co/uhgQZEOdR2 pic.twitter.com/DI0vjJkcHi
Last Friday, over 25 protesters showed up at Chen's Little Saigon office to let him know they still expect an apology. Townhall obtained footage of the protests.
In another clip, protesters are calling for Jay Chen, who is running against @MichelleSteelCA, to apologize. He made racist remarks against the congresswoman, in that “you kind of need an interpreter” when she speaks and that she’s “incoherent.” pic.twitter.com/OMmL2Umu3Z— Rebecca Downs (@RebeccaRoseGold) May 17, 2022
Here’s more of those protesters from last Friday marching in front of Jay Chen’s Little Saigon office. He is running against @MichelleSteelCA, whom he had made racist remarks against, which he has doubled down on. Write-up from me coming soon! pic.twitter.com/bBv5WzNIUL— Rebecca Downs (@RebeccaRoseGold) May 17, 2022
Chen, who is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, has himself touted the connection he has to immigration. While he seeks to attack Rep. Steel on her record, it would appear that he cannot merely depend on doing so, and must double down by refusing to apologize for such racism, but rather place the blame squarely with Steel, Leader McCarthy, and "the far-right media" on this one.