Laura Ingraham Credits Italian Americans Defending Columbus for GOP Election Gains in New Jersey

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Fox News’ Laura Ingraham suggested Wednesday that a Republican gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey had a strong than expected vote tally on Tuesday because Italian-American residents there were tired of “attacks” on Christopher Columbus.

“Don’t you think that some of the Italian vote in New Jersey got a little sick of the attacks on Christopher Columbus? I have a lot of friends in Bergen County and they — people were killing each other; it was a horrible time — but they really took offense to the attacks on Columbus and Columbus Day,” Ingraham told Sean Hannity during the toss from his 9 p.m. ET program to her 10 p.m. show.

Ingraham added, “I know it’s just a small issue but I kept hearing that all day long from people so I thought I’d put that out there.”

Ultimately, Democrat incumbent Phil Murphy claimed victory over Republican Jack Ciattarelli on Wednesday, but the race was much closer than analysts had expected.

Hannity offered up a different kind of analysis, suggesting the turnout for Ciattarelli means Republicans have “to get their act together, to run up platform and they’ve got to mean it and stand behind it and fight for the principles.”

Columbus, the Italian explorer who is credited with the “discovery” of America and given his own annual holiday, is a hot-button cultural topic. Opponents of the holiday — and the general mythology surrounding the man — argue that he could not discover a location already inhabited by the Native Americans and his holiday is a memorial to those Native Americans’ genocide. Supporters of Columbus Day argue it is a day of pride for Italian-Americans and part of American history. Defenders have routinely appeared on Fox News in the past.

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