Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

In an interview with Alayna Treene for "Axios on HBO," GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw said the idea that all non-white voters should back Democrats is "racism."

The big picture: The Republican Party is overwhelmingly white, with only one black Republican in the House and one in the Senate. But Crenshaw, who represents much of northern and western Houston, says the party needs new messengers to reach non-white voters and to expand the party's electorate.

  • "I hate engaging in identity politics. I hate saying, you know, 'We need more of these people because of this immutable characteristic.' But at the same time, you know, people need different messengers for the same message, OK? People do want to hear that message from somebody who they can relate with," Crenshaw told "Axios on HBO."

Between the lines: Crenshaw himself is caught up in a mass GOP exodus in Texas, where a slew of lawmakers have opted to not run for re-election in 2020, leaving vulnerable seats up for grabs.

What they're saying:

"I just don't take it as a given that because you're non-white that we should worry about you voting Democrat. And I think Democrats do take that for granted. You know, that's where that conversation comes from, this idea that your immutable characteristic should drive how you think, which is — I think there's a word for that. I think it's called 'racism.'"
— Crenshaw to "Axios on HBO"

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In early January, I laid out 10 energy and climate change issues to watch this year. Spoiler alert: A pandemic was not on that list.

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