GOP lawmaker pushed claims of 'racial war,' said blacks had 'entitlement mentality': CNN
© Greg Nash

A Republican facing a tough House reelection race pushed claims of a "racial war" by blacks on whites and said that violence regularly occurred at gatherings of African-Americans while hosting a syndicated radio program, according to a CNN report on Friday.

Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis (R) made the comments during a syndicated radio program he hosted from 2009 until 2014, according to CNN. The congressman also said during his show that African-Americans had an "entitlement mentality," the network reported.

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Lewis, a freshman congressman, won election in 2016 beating Democratic challenger, Angie Craig. The two are facing off again this year in Minnesota's 2nd District, in a race The Cook Political Report has labeled as a "toss-up."

In a statement to The Hill, Lewis's office accused CNN of being "on a mission to elect Democrats by deliberately ignoring Lewis’ record in office" and added the network's reporting was "an orchestrated attempt at making anyone who supports reducing illegitimacy or crime in minority communities, Voter ID laws and work requirements for public assistance back off their public policy positions."

CNN had reported earlier this week that the GOP lawmaker once lamented his inability in modern society to call women who take "a series of lovers” a “slut” during a segment on his show in 2012. 

According to the CNN report on Friday, Lewis frequently talked about black-on-white violence, warning in December 2012 of a "racial war."

"Another thing the media is ignoring that's the return of race riots in America, in Chicago, in Philadelphia, and all across the fruited plain, there is a racial war going on," CNN quoted Lewis as saying in the show.
 
"Now, no one can discount the horrible legacy of slavery. No one can discount the sin of America's past — but the chances today, and I want to be clear about this, I know it's provocative, but I want to be clear — the chances today of a gang of KKK members beating up a black kid are remote compared to the opposite. A gang of black on white crime," Lewis reportedly said.
 
Lewis had warned of a potential "race war" in April 2012 as well, after the shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin, according to CNN.
 
The congressman also said during an August 2012 broadcast that violence regularly occurred at black social gatherings.
 
"When there is a predominantly black festival, there's trouble," Lewis said in the show, according to CNN.

Lewis also described African-Americans as having an "entitlement mentality" during a show in December 2012, the network said.

"There's a cultural problem in the African-American community that is leading to this. The entitlement mentality," Lewis reportedly said. "You're a victim. It's OK to hate women, beat up women. It's OK to hate gays."

Lewis also said that African-Americans were “addicted" to welfare, according to CNN.