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Van Tran attacks Bill Clinton on eve of Loretta Sanchez campaign stop

October 15, 2010 |  2:51 pm

Just hours before Bill Clinton is scheduled to campaign for Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana), Republican candidate Van Tran says the former president is showing "poor judgment" by campaigning for the incumbent.

"It shows poor judgment on President Clinton’s part to actively campaign for Loretta Sanchez when she is trying to divide communities by race," Tran said in a statement.

Tran then cited Clinton's past defense of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), a former member of the Klu Klux Klan. "They mention that he once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, and what does that mean? I'll tell you what it means," Clinton said at Byrd's funeral earlier this year. "He was a country boy from the hills and hollows of West Virginia. He was trying to get elected. And maybe he did something he shouldn't have done, and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that's what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There certainly are no perfect politicians."

Sanchez was quoted in a Spanish-language interview with Univision as saying that "the Vietnamese" are trying to take her congressional seat from her.

"The Vietnamese and the Republicans are intensely [trying] to take this seat," Sanchez said, "this seat [from which] we have done so much for our community, to take this seat and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic."

Tran, who is Vietnamese, says Sanchez should apologize and has made her remarks a campaign issue.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento