“When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I’m talking about,” Clinton (D-N.Y.) told an audience at the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ during an event sponsored by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
“It has been run in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard,” she added to thunderous applause.
It was a rare bout of bombast for the Democratic presidential frontrunner, who often dodges far less combustible topics when pressed by reporters.
Clinton’s comparison – likening Republicans to slaveholders – prompted a furious reaction from the congressional GOP, which has been beset by lobbying scandals recently and the indictment of Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas) last year.
“It’s always wrong to play the race card for political gain by using a loaded word like plantation,” said Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who has enjoyed a cordial relationship with the Clintons. “It is particularly wrong to do so on Martin Luther King Day.”