Deflecting a complaint by a Japanese-American lawmaker that his recent remarks were "racially tinged," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday it doesn't matter whether it's sake or moonshine, House lawmakers must be drunk to vote for a health care overhaul
"My comments really reflect the fanaticism of the Democratic leadership. I don't know whether it's sake or moonshine but no sober person would do this," Graham told Fox News.
Graham was responding to a question about an apparent offense taken by Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., to a remark made by the senator on a South Carolina radio show.
"Nancy Pelosi, I think, has got them all liquored up on sake and you know, they're making a suicide run here," Graham said Monday on the Keven Cohen Show on WVOC radio in Columbia.
Sake is a Japanese rice wine known for its high alcohol content.
Honda, who spent part of his youth in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, said he was "disheartened" by Graham's rhetorical flourish suggesting Pelosi was leading Democrats on a kamikaze mission.
"I am disheartened that Senator Graham chose to use racially tinged rhetoric to express his opposition to health care reform. There is a way to engage in healthy debate without alienating Asian Americans, who are an important part of this democracy and health care reform," Honda reportedly said.
Graham suggested Honda was missing the point.
"What I would ask the congressman to do is stop this process for all Americans. Japanese-Americans included do not need to lose their choice in health care," he said.