Texas House GOP Caucus Chair: ‘Don’t Nitpick, Don’t Try To Jew Them’

Texas State Rep. Larry Taylor (R)

Texas State Rep. Larry Taylor (R), the head of the House Republican Caucus, apologized today for using a Jewish slur to tell an insurance association that they need to pay claims on time. “Don’t nitpick, don’t try to Jew them down,” Taylor said at a legislative oversight hearing concerning the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association today. “That’s probably a bad term,” he quickly added:

In a written statement following the hearing, Taylor said, “at a legislative oversight committee hearing today, I inadvertently used a phrase that many people find offensive. I corrected myself immediately when I realized what I had said. I regret my poor choice of words and sincerely apologize for any harm they may have caused.”

Alex Winslow, the executive director of Texas Watch, an advocacy organization for insurance customers, said he was aghast when he heard what Taylor said. “I agree with the sentiment that TWIA needs to pay claims on time and in full, but certainly don’t agree with his characterization or use of that offensive phrase,” he said.

“Jew” can be used as a slur to mean cheap or conning. Last year, some conservatives led an effort to remove Texas House Speaker Rep. Joe Straus (R) — who is Jewish — because, as one GOP official put it, “I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They’re the people that do the best jobs over all.”