A US congresswoman was thanking former President Donald Trump for his Supreme Court role in overturning Roe v. Wade when she said the decision was a “victory for white lives”.
U.S. Representative Mary Miller of Illinois was speaking at a Saturday night rally with the former president when she made the comments. Her spokesperson later said that was a mistake and that she meant “right to life”.
The line as delivered was out of step with the disproportionate impact that repealing abortion rights will have on women of color.
Ms. Miller is running for re-election in the state’s newly redesigned 15th congressional district against Republican Rodney Davis with the former president’s blessing.
She had been invited on stage to speak by Mr. Trump, who organized the rally in Mendon, Illinois, to vote ahead of the state’s primary on Tuesday.
“President Trump, on behalf of all MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white lives in the Supreme Court yesterday,” she said, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Ms Miller’s spokesman, Isaiah Wartman, told The Associated Press it was “a mixture of words”.
“You can clearly see in the video…she’s looking at her papers and watching her speech,” Mr Wartman said.
Her campaign noted that she is the grandmother of several non-white grandchildren, including one with Down syndrome.
The freshman MP, who was among those who voted to overturn the 2020 election results, had previously come under fire for quoting Adolf Hitler.
“Hitler was right about one thing. He said: ‘He who has the youth has the future,’ Ms Miller said in a speech last year, according to video released by WCIA-TV. She later apologized after Illinois Democrats called for her resignation.
The rally came as some far-right elements pushed the Great Replacement Theory, a racist ideology that claims white people and their influence are being replaced by people of color.
Proponents blame both immigration and demographic changes, including white birth rates.
During the rally, Mr. Trump on Friday won the explosive Supreme Court decision ending the constitutional right to abortion. The three Conservative judges he appointed all voted yes.
He noted that in 2016 he promised to appoint judges who would oppose abortion rights.
“Yesterday the court pronounced a victory for the Constitution, a victory for the rule of law and, above all, a victory for life,” he told the crowd, who chanted “Thank you Trump!” .
Mr Trump at the rally also endorsed Republican Darren Bailey, who is running to become the party’s nominee for governor.