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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"

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Up to 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Up to 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.