“The problem with the tea party folks like Jeff Duncan is that they’re obviously smoking it rather than drinking it,” Chairman Dick Harpootlian told The Greenville News. “I don’t know why there’s this common thread among Republicans to refer to poor people or to immigrants or anyone that they would denigrate as animals.”
Duncan spokesman Allen Klump said that the congressman was not making a comparison between immigrants and animals but between the southern border and a home.
“Congressman Duncan was simply saying what South Carolinians already know, that securing our borders is just like securing our homes. A border with no fence is like a house with no doors, where anyone or anything can come and go as they please," Klump said in a statement.
“It would be both incorrect and extremely unfortunate to assign any other meaning to the Congressman’s remarks,” he said.
Duncan made the comment Monday night at a small roundtable event hosted for students of Furman University with other freshmen House Republicans from South Carolina.
The full context of Duncan’s quote was not recorded, but he was responding to a student’s question on the subject of “tough issues" confronted by Congress.
“Congressman Duncan believes we have to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws,” Klump said.