(CNN) – A spokesman for Democratic Rep. Andre Carson said the Indiana representative and member of the Congressional Black Caucus is not backing down from comments he made previously, when he said members of the tea party movement on Capitol Hill would like to see African Americans “hanging on a tree.”
Jason Tomsci, Carson’s aide, confirmed the comments and reaffirmed the sentiment.
“He used strong language because the tea party agenda jeopardizes the most vulnerable,” Tomasci told CNN Wednesday. “Members of the tea party are holding up a lot of things that the president wants to do and want to gut critical services and programs that they know are important to African Americans as well as Latinos and other minorities.”
Video surfaced Tuesday on TheBlaze.com, a website run by conservative host Glenn Beck, which shows Carson, who holds a leadership role in the CBC, at an Aug. 22 event in Florida.
“Some of these folks in Congress would love to see us as second class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree,” Carson said according to the audio.
He also equated the efforts of those in the tea party movement to Jim Crow laws that historically kept African Americans from voting.