The president picked North Carolina Rep. Mel Watt on Wednesday to lead the [Federal Housing Finance] agency, praising his understanding of the housing crisis which crippled the economy several years ago. If approved by the Senate, Watt would replace Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the FHFA. But getting the Senate to agree that Watt’s the man for the job may be tough.
While lawmakers are raising early concerns about Watt’s willingness to get tough on questionable lending practices, he also comes with a history of controversial remarks.
During an Oct. 14, 2005 hearing held by the National Commission on the Voting Rights Act, Watt reportedly said that a “substantial majority of white voters” would not vote for a black candidate under any circumstances.
Multiple attempts by FoxNews.com to obtain a transcript of the hearing from the National Commission on the Voting Rights Act were not successful. But a report at the time by CNSNews.com quoted Watt saying the Voting Rights Act should be expanded and have districts changed to factor in race-based voting and help minority candidates.
He acknowledged “some” white people would support a black candidate, but said voters who refuse should be “factored out.”
“I’ve got no use for them in the democratic process,” he reportedly said.
Watt also claimed that black voters — unlike white voters — don’t have “an absolute commitment” to voting for a candidate based on race.
The exit polls from the 2012 elections suggest otherwise.