GOP Lawmaker: Obama 'Divides Us on Race'

Republican Rep. Mike Kelly unleashed a diatribe on President Barack Obama on Friday, at one point saying he "divides us on race."

“This week I heard the president talk about phony scandals. There’s nothing phonier than the words that have come out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. about reuniting this country, bringing us together as a people," the Pennsylvania Republican said at a news conference Friday. "No, he’s not a uniter; he’s a divider. He divides us on race, he divides us on income. He picks winners and losers.”

Speaking with CQ Roll Call following the event, Kelly did not elaborate on what he meant in calling Obama a divider on issues of race.

"Listen, I'll tell you what: It's self-evident," Kelly said. "I don't know if people who aren't reading or not watching, maybe, don't have the same opinion, but I think it's pretty obvious where we're going with some of this stuff.

"I think watching him pretty much leads to a conclusion," he continued. "I don't know if I can do it any better than the way he does it."

Kelly, elected in the GOP tea party wave of 2010, was participating on Friday afternoon in a news conference convened by Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington. The occasion for the event was to celebrate the passage of several bills at the end of this week "aimed to make the federal government more accountable, rein in red tape and empower citizens across the country."

"People tell me all the time, 'the trouble with you people is, you just don't understand.' Let me tell you something: I understand. I get it. I've watched how much erosion we've had. I've watched how much our freedom and liberty is under attack. No, I understand it," Kelly said.

He went on: "If I can stop this great country from unraveling, then I want to be obstructionist. I want to stand for people. If that puts a target on my back for re-election, then put the target there. In fact, put it on the front, too. If I'm gonna be held accountable for holding this government accountable, amen."

Exactly one year and one day ago Friday, Kelly also used strong rhetoric to express his disappointment with the elimination of the copay requirement for birth control.

"I know in your mind you can think of the times America was attacked," he said. "One is Dec. 7 — that is Pearl Harbor Day. Another was Sept. 11 — that was the day of the terrorist attack. I want you to remember August 1, 2012 — the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."