On January 20 2022, an Imgur user shared a post quoting Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) as saying that “African-Americans voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans”:
On that day, a user on r/politics submitted a post about the quote:
Mitch McConnell: "African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as American voters."
Toni Morrison: "In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate."
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) January 20, 2022
Often, McConnell’s commentary was transcribed. However, a brief clip of McConnell stating the quoted portion was viewed nearly two million times on Twitter the day after it first aired:
— Brendan Egan (@bse229) January 20, 2022
In the clip, an off-camera reporter appeared to ask McConnell about voting rights legislation. In response to the largely inaudible question, McConnell replied:
Well, the concern is misplaced … because if you look at the statistics, African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.
A January 20 2022 Kentucky Courier-Journal article, “Mitch McConnell says Black people vote just as much as ‘Americans,'” included more context with their reporting:
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is trending on Twitter after making an insidious comment related to voting rights, in which he implied African Americans are not Americans.
After a vote to move the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to the Senate floor failed [on January 19 2022], McConnell was asked by a reporter about concerns among voters of color.
“Well the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans,” McConnell responded.
“In one quote, he summarized the entire GOP worldview. They think it’s a White nation and anyone who isn’t White isn’t a true American,” tweeted [one] person.
The Courier-Journal referenced a January 11 2022 editorial written by McConnell for that newspaper. In “Mitch McConnell: Don’t believe the Democrats’ Big Lie about ‘Jim Crow 2.0’,” he said:
Across the Left, partisan operatives are breathlessly repeating newly-minted talking points to justify this political pivot. They claim that whenever a state adjusts early voting procedures or implements voter ID requirements, it somehow amounts to “Jim Crow 2.0.” These claims insult the intelligence of Kentucky voters and are nothing more than a Big Lie meant to undermine faith in our democratic process.
Our democracy is not, in fact, in crisis. The 2020 elections saw the highest turnout in more than 100 years. 94% of voters in that election said the voting process was easy. In many of the Republican-led states where Democrats claim “Jim Crow 2.0” is out in force – like Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri – Black voter turnout routinely outpaces white voter turnout. These are signs of a healthy democracy, not one on its deathbed.
A viral quote attributed to Sen. Mitch McConnell — “African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans” — circulated both in transcriptions and as video content. The remarks were accurately transcribed and were from January 19 2022.