Politics

Hawaii GOP Chairman Disavows Party's House Candidate

Denounces Gabbard opponent's 'vulgar, racially-bigoted' comments

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard nominates Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party has disavowed the GOP House candidate challenging Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in the state's 2nd District and is urging others to do the same.

Angela Kaaihue, the GOP candidate, attacked Gabbard’s religion and ridiculed her “moon-crater cheeks,” according to the Honolulu Civil Beat. She also called Japanese people “conspirators, stealers and liars,” Hawaii News Now reported.  

Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Fritz Rohlfing said in a statement that Kaaihue's inflammatory comments do not represent the views, values or sentiments of the GOP.

“Her vulgar, racially-bigoted, and religiously-intolerant descriptions of Democratic Party candidates are offensive, shameful, and unacceptable in public discourse,” Rohlfing said. “I unconditionally denounce her despicable statements. I strongly urge all Hawaii Republicans to join me in disavowing her candidacy."

[Tulsi Gabbard Resigns from DNC to Back Bernie Sanders]

The Civil Beat reported that Kaaihue called Hawaii a “Devil Democratic State” and said that if Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, “and his Japanese constituents” would settle a land dispute she is involved in, she would drop out of the race.

“Then Hawaii, YOU can have YOUR so-called ‘perfect’ pathetic Hindu 1000 GODS leader along with YOUR pathetic ‘career politician’ Buddhist Hanabusa,” Kaaihue said, referring to Gabbard and former Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is running for her old 1st District seat, left open after Rep. Mark Takai died in July. Gabbard is Hindu while Hanabusa is a Buddhist.

[Hawaii's Colleen Hanabusa Poised to Reclaim Her Old Seat]

The GOP chairman's disavowal of the Hawaii candidate is similar to moves made by a number of Republicans across the country, condemning provocative statements made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. However, few GOP leaders have fully disavowed Trump. 

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