A Pennsylvania Democratic congressman was accused of referring to his constituents who voted for President Donald Trump as having supported "bigotry and misogyny" on Wednesday.
In an interview last week with the Economist about voters who went from supporting former President Barack Obama in 2012 to supporting Trump in 2016, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D., Pa.) referenced bigotry and misogyny.
Recent Stories in Politics
"These voters turned to Trump because they were desperate for economic change," Cartwright said in the interview. "Take away the economic anxiety, and the bigotry and misogyny go away."
Republicans have interpreted the line as saying that Trump voters were supporting bigotry and misogyny.
One of Cartwright's Republican opponents in 2018, John Chrin, criticized Cartwright for the line.
"Congressman Cartwright’s description of his constituents in Northeast Pennsylvania is absolutely offensive and plainly inaccurate," Chrin told the Washington Free Beacon. "His remarks do not reflect the views of Pennsylvanians I know. Politicians should be working to improve the lives of their constituents rather than insulting them."
Chrin, who has the support of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), is hoping to defeat Cartwright in the 17th Congressional District, where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by ten points in 2016.
"Hardworking American patriots voted to shake up the failed Washington status quo in 2016," NRCC spokesman Chris Martin told the Free Beacon. "It’s ignorant and disgusting for Matt Cartwright to define more than half the voters in his district as racists and misogynists—and they will remember his comments next November."
However, Cartwright denies that any claim of bigotry and misogyny was about his constituents.
"I know the people in my area. They are my friends and neighbors, and I care about them," Cartwright told the Free Beacon. "They are not bigoted and misogynistic, and I resent anyone suggesting that they are."