10 Questions for J.C. Watts

J.C. Watts, the only black Republican in Congress, announced last week that he will retire when his fourth term ends next year--a blow to the G.O.P.'s efforts to widen its appeal. The conservative 44-year-old Oklahoman and former star quarterback for the University of Oklahoma talks with TIME's Douglas Waller.

IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STILL LARGELY A WHITES-ONLY PARTY?

It is. But I'm optimistic, because they're doing something about it. We surely didn't help our efforts during the Republican presidential primaries when we had about a 45-day debate on the word compassion. I thought that was the craziest thing I'd ever seen....

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