Rep. Loretta Sanchez Imitates Native American "War Cry" In Public & Her Apology Might Be Too Little, Too Late

On Sunday, a Congresswoman from California apologized after making a so-called Native American "war cry" and a seemingly stereotypical gesture in an unscripted moment during a gathering of the Indian-American caucus at the California Democratic party convention. Rep. Loretta Sanchez was captured on a cell phone video Saturday expressing her confusion about which type of "Indian" caucus she was going to be speaking with, and in the video said, "I'm going to his office, thinkin' that I'm gonna go meet with woo-woo-woo-woo, right? 'Cause he said 'Indian American,'" according to CNN. In the video, she then raises her hand to her lips to punctuate her impression of a Native American "war cry."

At a convention Sunday, The Sacramento Bee reported, Sanchez publicly apologized for the comment and gesture.

It's hard to put yourself out there and to do what leaders need to do — day in and day out — and yes, sooner or later we make mistakes. In this crazy and exciting rush of meetings yesterday, I said something offensive and for that I sincerely apologize.

Local television station KCRA obtained the video of Sanchez' remarks from an audience member, who said he was appalled what he called Sanchez's "disparaging comments."

A camera crew from KCRA tried to ask Sanchez questions about it, but in KCRA's footage, Sanchez can be seen running away into a nearby building declining to be interviewed, saying "we don't have time today." When Sanchez addressed the convention she admitted she had "said something offensive, and for that I sincerely apologize," the LA Times reported. "Sooner or later, we make mistakes. Because you know what? We're all human."

The convention was supposed to be Sanchez's first major appearance since announcing she would seek the Senate seat of the retiring Barbara Boxer, who announced in January she would not seek re-election.

For Sanchez, committing a gaffe that could have been straight out of the HBO sitcom Veep is an unfortunate way to start off her Senate campaign. When she announced her campaign just last week in her hometown of Santa Ana, which has a large Latino population, Sanchez noted she would be the first Latina woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate, the LA Times reported. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Sanchez was first elected to the House in 1996, defeating Republican Bob Dornan.

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But Sanchez's tenure in the House has been punctuated with some odd incidents. She's mailed out somewhat bizarre holiday cards to voters, including photos of Sanchez and her cat, Gretzky, snuggling in bed, and Sanchez riding a motorcycle and ballroom dancing. And she lost her speaking spot at the 2000 Democratic convention after she scheduled a fundraiser days before at the Playboy Mansion (the event was moved at the request of Democratic nominee Al Gore).

It remains to be seen what damage, if any, Sanchez's remarks have on the future of her campaign.

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