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File this one away under the, “WTF did she say?” files.

During a debate at a Chicago church, former senator and current Chicago mayoral candidate, Carol Moseley Braun called fellow candidate, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, a crack addict.

Chicago politics is known for its rough and tumble nature, and Braun has made her fair share of controversial remarks in the past. But many think her latest outburst crossed the line.

During the debate, Braun became incensed after Watkins asserted that Braun had effectively been “missing in action and lost somewhere” for the past 20 years while the city suffered through tough times. Instead of ignoring the relatively unknown candidate, Braun shot back to defend her record.

“Patricia, the reason you didn’t know who I was for the last 20 years is because you were strung out on crack. Now you have admitted to that. You also were in a cult. You have admitted to that. … I was not strung out on crack. I don’t have a record.”

Watkins, 53, admitted to the Chicago Tribune that she used marijuana and cocaine as a teen, but insisted she never used crack.

Braun’s gaffe is not only embarrassing for her campaign, but it could also cost her votes. Not only does Watkins think Braun was out of line for calling her a crack addict, she thinks Braun owes an apology to everyone who has ever struggled with addiction, many of which are the very people Braun hopes will vote for her next month.

“Carol owes an apology to me and to every person who has struggled with an addiction in the city of Chicago. This says a lot about her character and shows she is not ready to be a leader for Chicago residents.”

Carol Moseley Braun, the first and only African-American woman elected to the Senate, is currently seen as the second place contender for the highly contested mayoral race behind former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel. But after her outburst, her chances of beating Emmanuel seem even more unlikely.

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  • Clnmike

    I’m not sure it is that serious, this is the age of politicians having carte blanch to talk sideways out of their neck and get away with it. She fits into the culture.

  • Gigi Young

    Watkins is correct though. It was a low blow, just plain immature and unprofessional, for Braun to come swinging for Watkins’ past simply because she pointed out her absence in Chicago. All it did for me was prove that Braun’s weaknesses were being exposed, because she could have rebutted Watkins’ accusation by stating that even if she hadn’t been active in Chicago politics, here’s what she wants to do for the city as mayor. Leave the screaming ad hominem attacks to the talking heads on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc.

  • Alicia

    As a woman in politics she should know there is no room for mess ups like this.

  • Annie L.

    Her recent remarks regarding Rahm Emanuel coupled with this are just revolting. If she believes voters truly want to have their intelligence insulted through these ridiculous off the cuff statements then she’s been watching Fox and Tea Party candidates too closely.