Arizona State Rep. David Stringer in a video posted Tuesday night on social media warned voters that immigration represents an "existential threat" to the country.
Stringer, a Republican from Prescott, also told his audience at the Republican Men's Forum at the St. Michael Hotel in Prescott that there, "aren't enough white kids to go around."
"If we don't do something about immigration very very soon the demographics of our country will be irrevocably changed and we will be a very different country. It will not be the country you were born into," Stringer said in the 51-second video clip.
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Stringer also said immigration will change the demographics of Arizona's voting base in 10 to 15 years.
"Sixty percent of public schools in the state of Arizona, today, are minorities. That complicates racial integration because there aren't enough white kids to go around," Stringer said.
The video got attention after being posted by Democrat David Schapira, who is running for Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction. He said the video was from Stringer's Facebook page of a live stream.
Stringer talked to Arizona Family's Dennis Welch over the phone about the video.
“I wasn’t denigrating anybody. I wasn’t making a value judgment. I was illustrating the impact of rapid demographic change on a vital institution in our society," Stringer said.
He said his campaign posted the entire speech on his Facebook page but took the video down after getting negative comments.
As of Wednesday evening, Stringer said he didn't watch the 51-second clip that's making the social media rounds. He also denied using the word "racial," even though he clearly said it in the video.
Most of the speech, Stringer said, was focused on judicial reform and described his comments on immigration as a “little riff on immigration.”
He claims his comments are being taken out of context and spun, “most likely by liberals” and political opponents.
The left-leaning Progress Now Arizona has also responded.
“These comments from David Stringer show the true colors of today’s Republican party--it’s a party of radicalism, xenophobia, and frankly, racism," said Joselyn Berry, the co-director for Progress Now Arizona.
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