Bredesen chides state representative for 'rat' remark

Friday, November 12, 2010 at 2:31pm

Gov. Phil Bredesen chided state Rep. Curry Todd Friday for his public comments likening pregnant illegal immigrants to rats that multiply.

“That certainly is a very poor choice of words,” Bredesen told reporters. “I would never refer to any human being in that way. I’m glad he acknowledged that was a poor choice of words.”

Todd, a Republican from Collierville and chairman of the House State and Local Committee, outraged immigrant rights advocates this week with his remarks during a legislative hearing. Told that health officials are barred by federal law from checking the citizenship of pregnant women seeking prenatal care, Todd said that means the women can “go out there like rats and multiply.”

Representatives of Hispanic groups and their supporters stood outside Todd’s suburban Memphis home Thursday and demanded an apology. Todd said he wouldn’t apologize but did concede he used the wrong words. He said he should have called the children of immigrants “anchor babies” rather than rats.

“I’m not apologizing to anyone who may have been offended,” Todd told a Memphis TV station. “I used the wrong terminology.”

Bredesen said: “I mean look, why would you ever put any tiny child or unborn child into this debate about illegal immigration? Obviously you provide prenatal care. We have a long history of deciding that the most common way people become Americans is to be born in the country. And I don’t particularly have any problem with that. I’ve been supportive of the notion of controlling our borders and identifying illegal immigrants, and I’ve certainly supported that in various ways. But let’s not make children pawns in this issue. It’s a grown-up issue.”


Filed under: City News

5 Comments on this post:

By: left on 11/14/10 at 7:39

I want to know more about the under the table money for this solar program

By: bfra on 11/15/10 at 4:37

It isn't legal citizens that are making the children pawns, it is the illegals that want to shaft legal taxpayers!

By: girliegirl on 11/15/10 at 8:30

Bfra....The numbers of children being born at MeHarry and other local hospitals each day to illegal mothers is almost staggering...and those hospitals (Summit included) call our private unlisted phone number all the time looking for those mothers...who never paid their medical bills. The women are being "dropped off" out front .....that way there's no one to "check them in" and give real financial information. We're giving away FREE services daily now. And it's been happening just this way for 7 or 8 years that I'm aware of now.

By: on 11/15/10 at 8:53

For Mr. Todd to use this language about human beings is deplorable. Some people lack the good sense to know how blessed they are.

By: pswindle on 11/15/10 at 4:01

The GOP has lost their class. They will say or doing whatever it takes to get what they want. Let sit back and see what happens to TN in the next 6 months. They do not have a clue how to govern. All they know is low taxes, and what does low taxes get you.