Portman, R-Ohio, spoke on Fox News on Monday, a day after Holder appeared on ABC News' This Week With George Stephanopoulos. Holder also mocked Sarah Palin's call for Obama's impeachment, saying she was "an even worse judge of who ought to be impeached and why" than she was a vice presidential candidate.
"You know, people talking about taking their country back -- there's a certain racial component to this for some people," Holder said of Obama's critics. "I don't think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there's a racial animus."
Holder's comments were met with a chorus of disapproval. Portman suggested Obama's critics are motivated by "frustration."
"I don't think that blaming the opposition to President Obama which, by the way is at record highs according to polling data, blaming that on some sort of racial animus, I don't think it helps us," Portman said. "I don't think it takes us in the right direction in terms of making progress on dealing with this eternal issue we've got in America, which is to make sure that we are doing everything we possibly can do to fight racism. I don't think it's a constructive statement."