Republican Congressman Thinks Senior State Department Officials Are Visitors From India

curt clawsonedited


First things first. This article is NOT satire. On Thursday, during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Curt Clawson (R-FL) spoke to two senior officials from the State and Commerce Departments as if they were government representatives from India. The two government officials, Nisha Biswal  and Arun Kumar, had already been introduced to the panel by Rep, Steve Chabot (R-OH), the chairman of the subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. Despite the introduction by the chairman, Clawson spoke to them at length as if they were representing the country of India.

Clawson seemingly welcomed Biswal and Kumar to America. After that, he addressed them and said that he hoped for a good working relationship between the United States and India. He kept referring to India as “your country” and wanted to know if the two officials would be able to get the Indian government to work closer with the U.S. regarding trade agreements and the flow of capital.

Below is an excerpt of his comments as well as video, courtesy of Foreign Policy:

“I’m familiar with your country. I love your country. And I understand the complications of so many languages and so many cultures and so many histories all rolled up in one. Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I’m willing and enthusiastic about doing so…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,” he said. “I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?”



As you can see in the video, there was a very awkward pause after he asked the two officials for cooperation from the Indian government. Eventually, Biswal broke the silence and had to break the bad news to Clawson.

“I think your question is to the Indian government. We certainly share your sentiment, and we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the U.S.”

You would think this was a skit on Saturday Night Live or Funny or Die. Instead, this is an actual Congressman speaking to members of our State and Commerce Departments as though they are foreigners. Why? Because both have Indian surnames. Therefore, in Clawson’s mind, they must have come directly from India. Especially since he is at a subcommittee hearing regarding Asia.

That’s not all. Clawson is only in Congress due to the resignation of Trey Radel. As you might remember, Radel is the Congressman who was caught trying to buy cocaine from an undercover police office last year. Radel eventually resigned due to pressure from Florida Governor Rick Scott and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). Clawson won a special election last month to replace Radel. The freshman Congressman will have to run again in November to hold onto his seat.

Per Josh Hudson at Foreign Policy, Thursday was Clawson’s first day serving on the subcommittee of Asia and the Pacific. Apparently Chabot had some nice things to say about Clawson when introducing him as the newest member of the subcommittee. Below is from Hudson’s article:

Thursday was Clawson’s first day sitting on the subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. He was named to the full committee July 9. Subcommittee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) promoted Clawson’s deep international business acumen and knowledge of four languages in welcoming him. “Our newest member of this committee, Curt Clawson … speaks four languages and all kinds of other great stuff,” Chabot boasted.


Yep, all kinds of great stuff. Like thinking anyone with an Indian surname is automatically from India. (Clawson also made sure to reveal his love for Bollywood movies to the State officials.)

Clawson took some lumps on Twitter after Foreign Policy released the video of his adventures on Friday.



Congratulations, Rep. Clawson, you’ve now made a name for yourself.

36 Replies to “Republican Congressman Thinks Senior State Department Officials Are Visitors From India”

  1. Disagree on the languages. ‘Merican and apparently doesn’t know English… which is actually the language in India.

  2. Shit, NASA and NOAA say we’re going to sink no matter what. Chain this guy to the South Beach Jetty and have done with it.

  3. I don’t think he realized he screwed up. When they said his question was for the Indian government and they would pass it on, he spoke over them saying also saying “on behalf of the US government.”

    “Okay, let’s see progress” doesn’t seem to indicate he realized his inexcusably stupid mistake.

    They were undoubtedly dumbfounded by being questioned by someone dumber than nail clippings, but how I wish they had looked at him and “We are US citizens working for the US government State Department. Why do you think we are representatives of the Government of India? Hmm?”

  4. Well look on who he replaced. Trey Radel the crack buying congressman. They sure know how to pick em in the 19th.

    I don’t know who are the bigger fool, Clawson or the fools who elected him. Viva teabaggers

  5. If ignorance is bliss we have an absolutely ecstatic GOP. I give them credit I would have lost it at the Bollywood remark.

  6. Using the Words “Stupid” and “Republican” in the same sentence has become Redundant.

    Curt Clawson – Village Idiot and Patron Saint to the Morans that elected Him to public Office.

  7. These people is their own worst enemy. No one have to do a thing to them, they will sink their own ship all by themselves.

  8. Drud test this fool. Sounds like he and Trey just finished snorting some Cocaine before that hearing.

  9. The reaction of the government employees mistaken as diplomats was priceless. The guy was laughing at his stupidity. And people like Clawson are “running our country and voting on legislation”. Dumb as a box of rocks unless they are cutting taxes for those “job creators” or defunding SNAP or Meals on Wheels – they sure know how to do that. It is very frightening, and a further example why voting in 2014 & 2016 is so important!

  10. They weren’t white. Therefore, they MUST be foreign. What? They’re NOT?

    Pathetic, racist, ignorant, what other words describe this?

  11. Doesn’t he have a staff? This just isn’t about him, but his personal and committee staff as well. They didn’t help prepare him AT ALL for this.

  12. Mistaking an official of your own country for officials of another country based solely on their names shall forever be known as Pulling a Clawson. Forever, of course, means 24 hours.

  13. Wow! You wait for these screw up’s and when they come oh boy they come unexpected.. Lol he’s my congressman in Sw FL. How embarrassing.

  14. No, it’s not just “yesterday’s news.” Clawson’s ignorance means that he doesn’t do his job properly, kind of like John McCain tearing into a State Department employee whose last name ended with “ski” when he meant to tear into another State Department employee whose last name ends with “ski.” The GOP members of Congress are there to 1) get paid, 2) to make soundbites, and 3) to obstruct the work that needs to be done. No, Clawson’s statements are not “yesterday’s news”: they are what happens when people who could care less about what their job is are elected to public office.

  15. Thanks for article. Was watching that hearing and at first assumed Clawson was referring to country in which the two were working. Then couldn’t follow him at all….

  16. Is there some country that we can return this Baggerbot to?

    As he loves India so much, maybe the delegation there from India will take him with them!! He’s paid enough he can buy dinner!!

    Please proceed Congressman!!

  17. This what happens when your constituency embraces a Palin-esque disdain for elected officials who are educated and informed.

  18. I don’t see the big deal here.

    It’s an honest mistake.

    I don’t see any racism or stupidity in that.

    Ill-prepared? Definitely. But that’s it.

    Give him a break. Poor man.

    But, I enjoyed this so much. LOLROF

  19. At least I am not you trying to defend this bagger’s idiocy. So you may want to rethink your ASSumptions

  20. All I can say to your comment is NO! NO! and No! again, breaks are not deserved to people who are just plain ignorant. These men were identified as State Dept. people, How much more Id does this stupid Congressman need?

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