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Flori-duh Rep. Curt Clawson thinks U.S. officials of Indian descent represent Indian govt.


They don't call us Flori-duh for nothing.

The latest inductee to the Sunshine State's face-palming club: U.S. Rep. Curt Clawson, the Bonita Springs Republican who replaced Trey Radel, the cocaine congressman busted for buying blow in Washington last year.

The scene: The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday.

The players: Clawson and two congressional witnesses named Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar.

"I am familiar with your country; I love your country," Clawson told them, speaking about India, which he thought was their land. "And I understand the complications of so many languages, and so many cultures, and so many histories, all rolled up in one…"

Yes. All those languages. Like the English language. Spoken primarily in the United States. English is also a written language and, in plain English, the witness list said Biswal and Kumar, respectively, hold senior positions at the State Department and Commerce Department.

That is, Biswal and Kumar work for the U.S. government. They don't work for India. They are Americans. 

But Clawson apparently didn't read the witness list's plain English. Nor did the freshman probably know that it's rare for foreign-government officials to testify before Congress, according to Foreign Policy's blog, The Cable. The Cable reports that Clawson had been busy talking about his knowledge of India and his favorite Bollywood movies.

You know, most of his friends are Indians. Oh, and he's also concerned about U.S.-India trade relations.

So the congressman plowed on in error. None of his colleagues stopped him to point out his mis-identification of the U.S. officials sitting before him.

"Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I'd like our capital to be welcome there. And there to be freedom of capital," he said. "And I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?"

One second passed.

Two seconds.

Three seconds.

And then, four long seconds later, Biswal tried to be as diplomatic as possible while Kumar smiled broadly.

"I.. I think," she stammered, "your question is to the Indian government and we certainly share your sentiments. And we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the U.S."

Clawson didn't appear to catch the context of what she said.

"Of course. OK," he grinned. "Let’s see some progress."

Yes. Let's.

But first someone needs to explain the congressional ropes to the politician from that sometimes-alien land known as Flori-duh. 

The exchange lasted but a few moments. But by Friday it was rehashed over and over again in Twitter's echo chamber, where Adam Goldstein, a management consultant with the account @A_H_Goldstein, managed to find a parallel between Clawson and Radel, who was arrested in October for buying a large amount of personal-use cocaine from an undercover agent. 

"You know who else didn't realize when they were talking to a U.S. government employee?" Goldstein said on Twitter.


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ed jenkins

The readers have on many occasions made it known that they have no interest in stories about political leaders from distant places.

Bill McCollum

But unfortunately he is a republican here in Florida that supports that guy I can't believe I lost to.

Gersom Marchena

Can you say ignorant???


The GOP: "Derr, dey's brown, so dey must be some of dem eyeleegulls."


Old and new generation immigrants! Sitting on that chair he should know whom he is talking to. He needs some education and treat American citizens as his people but not to go with the looks. There are many people like him all over the country. He should apologize to them as a courtesy!

Harry Devlin

Republicans are so cute. The sadder thing is that people elected this moron, and will likely re-elect him.


His comment is just as bad as Biden

John Lundin

this Tea Party Republican from SW FL is ignorant in more ways than just being a culturally unsophisticated white idiot...if you look at the video notice his adoring congressional aide...eventually his right wing base will out him...and he will be caught in a closet scandal the same way Radel was busted for cocaine


for the regular commenter on these ages, the "citizens' of Flori-DUH have a great interest in the political leaders of other nations. The Us has trade agreements with most-have you heard the term, 'global economy"?
The exchange between the idiot teabagger who replaced the addict and 2 highly placed government officials would almost comical were it not apparent to all of his astounding ignorance. He owes a public apology to both these people. How extremely patronizing. Wonder if he raised his voice so they could better understand English? And THIS is indicative of the intelligence of the majority of the teabag right-wingers who are taking over the Repub party?? Oh, no-they aren't racist. Oh, no, they aren't prejudiced. Oh yes they are ! To a teabagger, the color of a person's skin defines them . Flori-duh deserves every epithet thrown its way. When ignoramuses like this are in the Legislature and making the laws? How/WHY did this man survive high school? Must have received his 'education' in Flori-DUH..

little sister

I live in Indianapolis, IN. In this overgrown small town, one is as likely to hear Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese, usually), Indian (I am embarrassed to admit to know little of their dialects), German, Tagalog, etc. as one is to hear the Hoosier twang.

Time to drop your Anglo-white privilege, Clawson. It only proves you're an idiot.


This is hilarious! This is why it's called Flori-duh!


Clawson: They're American Indians? Seminole or Navajo?


Seems to me that the Rep. Clawson replaced couldn't have been as ignorant as this fool. I can't believe the voters of the 19th district actually elected this fool I believe the whole House is made up of just do-nothings and getting worse all the time and worse we actually PAY THEM FOR DOING NOTHING (and being proud of it) The whole outfit is disgraceful and should be voted out of office!!!!!

jdu piesco

I don't know if this happened because he's a racist. His ex-wife is African American (although I don't know if that's common knowledge.) I think it happened because he's a moron.


Clueless Curt! What a maroon.

Ed Jenkins, you are STILL wrong.


Duh.You gotta have people like Clawson otherwise who could communicate with Biden,Harry,Nancy or Wasserman-Schultz.Anyway Clawson is a carpet bagger educated in that great liberal institution Harvard.

Neha P

It's amazing how such Morons get elected to the highest offices in the Country. Unless you look like Brad Pitt, you cannot be all american! It's 2014 and Republican better wake up and smell the coffee, demographics have change permanently! Its sad that we still elect such ignorant imbeciles to high public office. Mr Clayton is such a schmuck that he doesn't have a clue when he ends his speech and in such condescending way. Mr Jindal should do some diversity classes for the entire Tea Party and the Republican Party members and start with - Africa is a continent!

Fred C Dobbs

Sadly, it was Florida which (in so MANY different ways!) gave us the Cheney Regency of the idiot-prince George 'Little Boots'* Bush. First and foremost, of course, were the Nader Voters. Then the Butterfly Ballot. Then the failure to correct that travesty with an emergency re-vote in Palm Beach County. Then the Brooks Brothers riot in Dade.

Since then, Florida has given us a parade of numpties and eejits as elected officials (including the present Governor Lurch) worthy of Texas or the Carolinas (Allen West, anyone?). It's a great pity that the rest of the country has to deal with the fallout from a state with so many US Reps and Electoral Votes.

*[The reference is to Gaius Caligula, who appointed a horse to the Roman Senate. To be fair, wee Geordie didn't go that far, although he did appoint several horse's arses to the Extreme Court.]

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