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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Why's it so hard for Republicans to tell jokes everybody else can tell are jokes?

When initially asked to comment on the exchange, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, said: “That never happened,” and Matt Sparks, a spokesman for McCarthy, said: “The idea that McCarthy would assert this is absurd and false.”

After being told that The Post would cite a recording of the exchange, Buck, speaking for the GOP House leadership, said: “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor. No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians. What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity.”

“This was a failed attempt at humor,” Sparks said.

-The Washington Post, reporting Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comment to Speaker Paul Ryan that Donald Trump was in the pay of the Russian government, May 17, 2017
McCarthy, for his part, maintained Wednesday evening that he was just fooling around during the 2016 meeting.

It was "a bad attempt at a joke," he told reporters. "If you listen to it, everybody laughs. So you know that it's a bad attempt at a joke, and that's all there is to it."

"No one believes it to be true," he added, saying he is "100 percent" confident in the president.

Rohrabacher, who was also targeted by McCarthy's comments, laughed off the news reports Wednesday.

"You have to be very careful when you're using humor," the congressman said. "I remember that I was trying to make fun of the scientists who claimed that cow farts make global warming. So at a hearing, I said, oh, do you think the dinosaurs disappeared because of dinosaur flatulence."

"Do you know that to this day, you have these environmental wackos saying 'Dana Rohrabacher believes that flatulence killed the dinosaurs?'" Rohrabacher added. "It was humor, but you've got to watch out for it. Kevin didn't mean any harm."

-The Washington Examiner, declaring, “Rep. Kevin McCarthy was just kidding,” May 17, 2017
A white Alabama legislator who stirred outrage after sending an email that black lawmakers on Wednesday condemned as racist has apologized.

Republican Rep. Lynn Greer, of Rogersville, forwarded a constituent email to dozens of legislators and lobbyists that described an experiment in which caged monkeys will eventually stop reaching for a dangling banana as they slowly accept the status quo because their predecessors were punished.

The email was sent as black lawmakers used procedural tactics in the House and Senate to oppose proposed new legislative districts they said minimized black voters' influence.

Greer apologized and said the email was meant to be a joke about the need to replace incumbents. However, black lawmakers said its intent was clearly racial. The bubbling tensions threatened to derail the final days of the legislative session.

"We have been subjected to the most racial insult that I've ever seen," House Black Caucus Chairman John Knight said of Greer's email. "There is no place in the statehouse. "It is insulting and it is unacceptable."

Greer issued a statement apologizing for the email and met with the black lawmakers to apologize in person. He said he didn't see the email as racist.

"Bottom of my heart I didn't mean anything bad," Greer told The Associated Press. Greer said he now understood, with the backdrop of the race-tinged redistricting fight, of how it was perceived. "If I thought about all that. I guarantee you I wouldn't have done that."

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On Thursday, as Republicans scrambled to make last-minute changes to the American Health Care Act, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas was asked by Talking Points Memo about the demand from ultraconservatives that Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits mandate — which requires insurance plans to cover hospitalizations, maternity care, prescription drugs, and more — be scrapped from the bill. His response? A joke about losing his mammograms.

“I sure don’t want my mammogram benefits taken away,” the GOP lawmaker deadpanned in response to a question about whether he supported getting rid of essential benefits.

College Republican club apologizes for handing out a joke Hitler-themed Valentine's card which mocks the Holocaust

  • The group, who attend Central Michigan University, has apologised on Facebook
  • The card reads: 'My love 4 u burns like 6,000 Jews. XOXO, Courtney'

RALEIGH - North Carolina’s new insurance commissioner is apologizing for sharing a meme on social media mocking women who took part in the women’s march in Washington.

WRAL-TV in Raleigh reported Mike Causey said in his apology that the post he shared on Facebook and linked to one of his Twitter accounts “represented a momentary lapse in judgment on my part for which I am truly sorry.”

Causey shared a photo on his Facebook page Sunday from someone in Jacksonville, Florida, that showed a street filled with marchers with the text overlaid: “In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking than Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”

In Indiana, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says he's conducting social media tutorials after posts from at least two state lawmakers.

A weekend Facebook post by Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican, showed a photo of a woman sprayed in the face with pepper spray with a caption that read: "PARTICIPATION TROPHIES. NOW IN LIQUID FORM."

Another post by newly elected Indiana state Sen. Jack Sandlin, also a Republican, credited Donald Trump with getting "more fat women out walking than (former first lady) Michelle Obama did in 8 years."

...In Nebraska, a retweet of an offensive joke may be the final straw for state Sen. Bill Kintner, who admitted last year to having cybersex on a state computer with a woman who later tried to blackmail him. The Republican's colleagues on Wednesday will debate whether to expel him after he retweeted a joke implying that three women's march demonstrators were too unattractive to sexually assault.

-The Santa Rosa (CA) Press-Democrat, January 26, 2017

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr was caught on a recording joking about gun owners shooting Hillary Clinton over the weekend, making him the latest member of team Trump to jest about her potential demise.

Burr, who is fighting a tough reelection battle against Democratic candidate Deborah Ross, walked into a gun shop in the state and said “nothing made me feel better” than seeing a magazine about rifles in the store "with a picture of Hillary Clinton on the front of it.”

The audio, first obtained by CNN, includes a quip about supporters putting a “bullseye” on Clinton.

“I was a little bit shocked at that—it didn’t have a bullseye on it,” Burr jokes to a crowd in Mooresville, North Carolina. “But on the bottom right (of the magazine), it had everybody for federal office in this particular state that they should vote for. So let me assure you, there’s an army of support out there right now for our candidates.”

Burr did apologize for the remarks after CNN reported their existence saying “The comment I made was inappropriate, and I apologize for it.”

-The Daily Beast, October 31, 2016

Paul Ryan, who claimed on Tuesday night that he still hadn’t heard the brief remarks, suggested that was the case. “It sounds like a joke gone bad,” he said. “You should never joke about that. I hope he clears it up quickly.”

-New York Magazine, reporting Donald Trump’s Wilmington, NC speech saying gun rights advocates could deal with Hillary Clinton if she appointed judges insufficiently Second-Amendment-friendly, August 10, 2016

While introducing the fried pork loin dish he had prepared, [Kenner LA Council member Keith] Reynaud -- who is running for mayor in the Nov. 8 primary -- joked with the event's attendees that he would have made fried chicken and served only the left wings if they were all at a Democratic event, according to accounts from the councilman and others who were there.

The remark was strictly, 'We have left-wing people and right-wing people' ... and if anybody took it any other way aside from a political joke, well, I am very, very sorry," Reynaud said. "We were at a Republican event, and I made what I thought was a Democratic joke."

The Louisiana lawmaker called it a joke, a commentary on government overregulation when he suggested on the floor of the state House that strippers should be in their 20s and no more than 160 pounds. But the joke misfired, with calls Thursday for an apology and lamentations that the incident was an embarrassment to Louisiana.

Republican Rep. Kenny Havard provoked outrage Wednesday when he briefly proposed the amendment to a bill aimed at combating human trafficking by blocking strip clubs from hiring dancers younger than 21.

...Havard defended it as satire about nanny-state bills and suggested people were overreacting.

Despite the criticism he’d drawn, Havard didn’t back down, calling it a “lighthearted joke” to make a point that government meddled too much in people’s decisions.

“I think that some people are just getting too uptight these days,” he said.

“I hate to apologize for being politically incorrect. It’s not in my nature,” he said. But he added: “I am regretful that it offended some people.”

-The Olympia (WA) Olympian, May 9, 2016

Maine’s governor says he won’t apologize for commenting on hard-to-understand workers from Bulgaria or India.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage said his comment at the state party convention was “meant as a joke” but he acknowledged that “maybe it was a bad joke.”

He told WVOM-FM on Tuesday that he’s not politically correct and that he won’t apologize for that. And he said that he’s had difficulty trying to give an order in a restaurant with foreign workers, “period.”

LePage was chuckling Saturday when he talked about foreign workers after criticizing a referendum proposal to raise Maine’s minimum wage to $12. LePage supports raising the wage by a lesser amount.

-WABI-TV, April 26, 2016

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has apologized for making a joke about Joe Biden just days after the vice president's eldest son died from brain cancer.

"Vice President Joe Biden. You know the nice thing? You don't need a punchline," the Texas senator said at a GOP dinner in Howell, Michigan, on Wednesday night.

"I promise you it works. The next party you're at, just walk up to someone and say, 'Vice President Joe Biden' and just close your mouth. They will crack up laughing," he said, repeating a joke he has used in previous speeches.

Cruz told reporters after the event that 46-year-old Beau Biden's death on Saturday was "heartbreaking and tragic" and said his prayers were with the vice president and his family.

But when Cruz was asked by Detroit News reporter Chad Livengood: "Why did you tell a joke about the vice president tonight?" the senator walked away without commenting. The joke and exchange with reporters was uploaded to YouTube by Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century.

Republican aides were taken aback by the response to what what they thought was a lighthearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions. Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a “cheeky” reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives.

“The administration has no sense of humor when it comes to how weakly they have been handling these negotiations,” said a top GOP Senate aide.

-The Daily Beast, reporting on the blowback when 47 Republican senators wrote a letter to Iran’s government, warning they’d be in office after President Obama and could undo the nuclear program deal at will, March 11, 2015

The tweet was meant to be a joke according to Rep. Jake Anderegg. Instead, the tweet flared tempers and caused outrage on social media from around the country as being insensitive to the LGBT community. And Anderegg has been apologizing for the past 24 hours.

"It was off the cuff," Anderegg. "It was bad judgment. It was totally inappropriate and I've apologized."

Monday, Anderegg sent a tweet that stated he'd consider changing his identity so that he could use the ladies restroom because the private men's restroom was occupied.

A reply from Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser's account then called Anderegg "…a new man, erm, woman."

Niederhauser said that tweet was sent by an intern. He also called for sensitivity training at the Capitol Monday night. Eight members of the LGBT community, along with at least 25 interns, some senators, and Anderegg attended the meeting.

-KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, February 4, 2014

A long-time councilman said he didn't believe an email he sent to friends, former co-workers, and the city law director was racist and derogatory to minorities, but instead he interpreted its content as humorous.

The email, entitled "Spelling Bee Champ," was forwarded on Dec. 12 from the personal email account of Norwalk Councilman Robert Carleton to more than a dozen people, including Norwalk law director G. Stuart O'Hara.

Mr. Carleton, the second ward councilman, admitted during an interview with The Blade to sending the contents in an email.

"In hindsight, I can see how it can be interpreted as racist ... but that wasn't my intent when I sent it. I thought it was humorous," Mr. Carleton said.

Through insensitive, and bigoted jargon, the email, with grammatical and spelling errors, cruelly mocks an African-Hispanic girl who received extra points in a school spelling contest for "being black," "not bringin" drugs and guns to class and "not getting pregnut during the cemester."

The email also attacked the Affordable Care Act and affirmative action.

Mr. Carleton, 71, was elected to city council in the 1990s in the Huron County community, which is 70 miles southeast of Toledo. According to the Huron County Republican Party Web site, he is an endorsed member of the party.

A copy of the email, including the list of recipients who were forwarded the message, was sent on Friday to The Blade.

When contacted, Mr. Carleton confirmed that the email account belonged to him and that he had sent the message to other people. The gmail account he used to send the email from also is listed online as an contact for him as councilman.

-The Toledo (OH) Blade, January 4, 2014

The Chisago County Republican Party is very sorry that something so clearly improper (either intended or in poor taste) ever made it to our page. Postings like this are not representative of our party. We are a party that believes in Freedom for all Americans regardless of race or religion. It is after all where the Republican Party came from in its origins, the anti-slavery movement.

-Wonkette, November 21, 2013
Telling what he called a joke, [Republican 10th Congressional District Committee chair John] Whitbeck said: “ … when the pope is elected, the head of the Jewish faith goes to the Vatican and brings a ceremonial piece of paper. It's very old and it dates back hundreds of years, and he comes into the pope's office and he ceremonially hands the piece of paper to the pope, the new pope. And then the new pope ceremonially rejects it. And the head of the Jewish faith leaves . . . Well, this time around, the pope said: 'I gotta find out what's on this piece of paper.' So he actually takes it from the head of the Jewish faith, he opens it and he looks at it, and he closes it ... and his Jewish counterpart says 'what was it?' And he says, 'well, that was the bill for the Last Supper.'”

-The Loudoun (VA) Times-Mirror, September 18, 2013

Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield is refusing to apologize for posting a joke about pressure cookers on his blog in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Because the suspects responsible for the explosion used pressure cookers when building their bombs, the Republican senator used a photo of a pressure cooker to mockingly insinuate that because pressure cookers are inanimate objects, just like guns, neither should be banned.

In the photo, the words "Assault Pressure Cooker (APC)" are printed below the picture of the pressure cooker. The photo also includes labels and arrows pointing to all of the pot's "dangerous" features including a "muzzle break thingy that goes 'up'" and a "tactical pistol grip." It goes on to describe the cooking device as "large-capacity, can cook for hours without reloading" and "evil" because it is black.

The blog post, entitled "Here comes Feinstein again," is a direct attack against Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her efforts in leading the battle for gun control and seeking to ban military-style assault weapons. The image suggests that pressure cookers might be her next target.

...CNN's Piers Morgan took on the GOP legislator in a live interview about his controversial joke.

"We're talking about an inanimate object that does nothing by itself," said Campfield told Morgan, comparing a firearm to a pressure cooker. "It does absolutely nothing by itself just like a pressure cooker does absolutely nothing by itself."

"The joke was really about the left and how they push for gun control on inanimate objects just like pushing for spoon control for obesity, it doesn't do anything."

-Latinos Post, April 25, 2013

Todd Kincannon, a former top GOP official in South Carolina, wants to know why people won’t let him make a fool of himself on social media in peace. The lawyer, who once served as executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, mocked impoverished victims of Hurricane Katrina and the death of unarmed 17 year-old teenager, Trayvon Martin, during the Superbowl. And yet he’s the one that feels he’s being attacked.

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Kincannon also attempted to excuse his highly-offensive remarks by hiding under the guise of humor: “I think a lot of people need to learn how to take a joke and I’ll leave it at that.”

A Pennsylvania Republican official suggested Tuesday that a man was “mentally retarded” because he was a supporter of President Barack Obama.

Jim Roddey, the Allegheny County GOP chair and former county executive, made the joke at a victory party for a candidate for state senate who was elected Tuesday in a special election, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

“There was a disappointment tonight. I was very embarrassed,” Roddey said. “I was in this parking lot and there was a man looking for a space to park, and I found a space for him. And I felt badly — he looked like he was sort of in distress.”

“And I said, ‘Sir, here’s a place,'” Roddey continued. “And he said, ‘That’s a handicapped space.'”

The crowd was reportedly highly amused, and “hollered and clapped” at the joke.

The Post-Gazette noted that Roddey is a long-time “vocal supporter” of Mitt Romney.

-The Daily Caller, August 8, 2012

Montana's U.S. District Chief Judge Richard Cebull on Wednesday admitted to sending a racially charged email about President Obama from his courthouse chambers.

Cebull, of Billings, was nominated by former president George W. Bush and received his commission in 2001 and has served as chief judge for the District of Montana since 2008.

The subject line of the e-mail, which Cebull sent from his official courthouse e-mail address on Feb. 20 at 3:42 p.m., reads: "A MOM'S MEMORY."

The forwarded text reads as follows:

"Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

"A little boy said to his mother; 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?' " the e-mail joke reads. "His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!' "

Cebull admitted Wednesday to sending the e-mail to seven recipients, including his personal e-mail address. The judge acknowledged that the content of the e-mail was racist, but said he does not consider himself racist. He said the email was intended to be a private communication.

"It was not intended by me in any way to become public," Cebull said. "I apologize to anybody who is offended by it and I can obviously understand why people would be offended."

Cebull said his brother initially sent him the email, which he forwarded to six of his "old buddies" and acquaintances.

"The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan," Cebull said. "I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is. I sent it out because it's anti-Obama."

He went on: “On this contraceptive thing, my Gosh it’s such [sic] inexpensive,” he added. “You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”

Host Andrea Mitchell interjected, "Excuse me, I’m just trying to catch my breath from that, Mr. Friess, frankly,” she said after a long pause. “Let’s change the subject.”

He laughed.

“My aspirin joke bombed as many didn’t recognize it as a joke but thought it was my prescription for today’s birth control practices,” he wrote on “Foster’s Campfire Blog,” where he posts along with other contributors. “In fact, the only positive comments I got were from folks who remembered it from 50 years back. Birth control pills weren’t yet available, so everyone laughed at the silliness on how an aspirin could become a birth control pill.”

“After listening to the segment tonight, I can understand how I confused people with the way I worded the joke and their taking offense is very understandable,” he wrote. “To all those who took my joke as modern day approach I deeply apologize and seek your forgiveness.” He noted that his wife didn’t like the joke, either.

-Huffington Post, February 17, 2012

An upstate Republican who’s eying a run for governor has compared Shelly Silver, the Orthodox Jewish speaker of the state Assembly, with Adolf Hitler.

And now Erie County Executive Chris Collins says he’s really, really sorry.

The slur came during a speech to fellow Republicans in Buffalo, while slamming Albany’s notorious “three men in a room” budget process – in which the governor and legislative leaders make deals in private.

Silver is a Manhattan Democrat.

The comment was made at the Erie County GOP’s annual fall fund-raiser at the Adam’s Mark Hotel.

“No one clapped. No one cheered. No one laughed,” said a Western New York Republican who was at the event. “I know I didn’t. I thought it was a little harsh…”

Through his spokesman, Collins said he had made a “poor joke” and extended his “sincerest apologies” to Silver.

“While we may disagree strongly on policy matters, my statement had no place in our political discourse and I am truly sorry to both the speaker and to anyone else who I may have offended,” Collins said., October 26, 2009

[Republican candidate for Idaho governor Rex] Rammell is among those running in the 2010 Idaho GOP primary against incumbent Otter.

On Tuesday, a GOP rally attendee shouted a question about "Obama tags" during discussion of Idaho's upcoming wolf hunt, where hunters must purchase $11.50 wolf tags.

Rammell responded, "The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those."

Rammell, a longshot GOP candidate who as an independent garnered just 5.4 percent of the vote in his unsuccessful 2008 U.S. Senate run against Risch, has refused to apologize and said he doesn't advocate assassinating Obama.

"Anyone who understands the law knows I was just joking, because Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue hunting tags in Washington D.C.," he said.

-The Deseret News, August 29, 2009

A state Republican activist has admitted to and apologized for calling a gorilla that escaped from the Riverbanks Zoo Friday an "ancestor" of First Lady Michelle Obama.

A screen capture of the comment, made on the Internet site Facebook, was obtained by FITSNews, the website of South Carolina politico Will Folks.

The image shows a post by an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster describing Friday morning's gorilla escape at Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo.

Longtime SCGOP activist and former state Senate candidate Rusty DePass responded with the comment, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

DePass told WIS News 10 he was talking about First Lady Michelle Obama.

DePass has been involved in state politics for decades, and helped elect Republican Governor Jim Edwards in 1974. He was an early South Carolina supporter of former President George W. Bush in 2000.

We spoke with DePass over the phone Friday night. He said, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

"You know, I don't think there's anything funny about that comment," says Coble. "That is the First Lady of the United States. We've had a long tradition of wonderful first ladies, and I don't think any of them deserve that type of comment."

DePass took his apology a bit further. He also said, "The comment was hers. Not mine," saying the first lady made statements in the media recently saying we are all descendants of apes.

But an Internet search for those comments turned up no news articles of the like.

-WIS-TV, June 12, 2009

Republican Party reaction is divided over the decision of a candidate for party chairman to distribute a CD that features the parody tune "Barack the Magic Negro," with the majority of Chip Saltsman's political rivals criticizing the move.

...For Christmas, Saltsman sent RNC members the parody CD "We Hate the USA," which includes the controversial tune. He defended his decision Friday, telling CNN the song was clearly intended as a joke.

"I think most people recognize political satire when they see it," Saltsman told CNN. "I think RNC members understand that."

Saltsman, a former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, was a top adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and managed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign.

The song, set to the tune of the 1960s folk song "Puff the Magic Dragon," was first played on Rush Limbaugh's radio show in 2007. Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation's history of mistreatment of African-Americans.

Saltsman said the song, penned by longtime friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily recognized as satire directed at the Times.

Marietta bar owner Mike Norman says the T-shirts he's peddling, featuring a look-a-like of cartoon chimp Curious George peeling a banana, with "Obama in '08" underneath, are not meant to offend.

Norman acknowledged the imagery's Jim Crow roots but said he sees nothing wrong with depicting a prominent African-American as a monkey. We're not living in the (19)40's," he said. "Look at him . . . the hairline, the ears — he looks just like Curious George."About a dozen protesters rallied against the shirts Tuesday afternoon, condemning them as racist and asking Norman, longtime proprietor of Mulligan's Bar and Grill on Roswell Street, to stop selling them.

Marietta native Pam Lindley, 47, joined the protest after reading about the controversy online.

"I don't want people to think this is what Marietta is all about," she added, motioning towards the tavern. "This is what some people think the South is still like. Marietta's come a long way but I guess it's still got a little ways to go."

-Crooks and Liars, May 13, 2008

Virginia Sen. George Allen (R) apologized Monday for what his opponent's campaign said were demeaning and insensitive comments the senator made to a 20-year-old volunteer of Indian descent.

At a campaign rally in southwest Virginia on Friday, Allen repeatedly called a volunteer for Democrat James Webb "macaca." During the speech in Breaks, near the Kentucky border, Allen began by saying that he was "going to run this campaign on positive, constructive ideas" and then pointed at S.R. Sidarth in the crowd.

"This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great," Allen said, as his supporters began to laugh. After saying that Webb was raising money in California with a "bunch of Hollywood movie moguls," Allen said, "Let's give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." Allen then began talking about the "war on terror."

Depending on how it is spelled, the word macaca could mean either a monkey that inhabits the Eastern Hemisphere or a town in South Africa. In some European cultures, macaca is also considered a racial slur against African immigrants, according to several Web sites that track ethnic slurs.

"The kid has a name," Webb communications director Kristian Denny Todd said of Sidarth, a Virginia native who was born in Fairfax County. "This is trying to demean him, to minimize him as a person."

Todd added that the use of macaca, whatever it means, and the reference welcoming Sidarth to America were clearly intended to make him uncomfortable.

Reached Monday evening, Allen said that the word had no derogatory meaning for him and that he was sorry. "I would never want to demean him as an individual. I do apologize if he's offended by that. That was no way the point."

Asked what macaca means, Allen said: "I don't know what it means." He said the word sounds similar to "mohawk," a term that his campaign staff had nicknamed Sidarth because of his haircut. Sidarth said his hairstyle is a mullet -- tight on top, long in the back.

Allen said that by the comment welcoming him to America, he meant: "Just to the real world. Get outside the Beltway and get to the real world."

-The Washington Post, August 15, 2006

At a hearing last Thursday, Bob Bennett (R-Utah) suggested a "rain dance" might be needed in order to alleviate drought problems in the West. The subject of the remark was Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana and the only American Indian in the Senate.

"Aside from doing a rain dance and making it rain, we'll assign that to Senator Campbell, I'm not sure what you can do," Bennett told a Bush administration official.

...On Friday, [Bennett spokesman Mary Jane] Collipriest said there was nothing to worry about. "[Bennett] was stressing that the West is desperate for water and he said we need it any way we can get it," she reported. "He suggested even one of the things we might rely on is Senator Campbell doing a rain dance, as a joke."

...Bennett, in his second term in the Senate, came under fire in late 1999 for making a racially insensitive comment during President Bush's campaign. Speaking to the editorial board of a Utah newspaper, he said Bush would be the GOP nominee unless "George W. steps in front of a bus or some woman comes forward, let's say some Black woman comes forward with an illegitimate child that he fathered within the last 18 months."

Bennett apologized after facing pressure from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). "I had no intention of offending anyone," he said at the time., March 24, 2003

The [Texas] Republican gubernatorial nominee apologized today for an off-the-cuff remark suggesting that some victims of rape should ''relax and enjoy it.''

The candidate, Clayton Williams, had initially played down the remark as being a joke.

...Mr. Williams made the remark on Saturday while preparing for a cattle roundup at his West Texas ranch. He compared the cold, foggy weather spoiling the event to a rape, telling ranch hands, campaign workers and reporters around a campfire, ''If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.''

Later on Saturday, Mr. Williams said it was merely a joke and apologized ''if anyone's offended.''

''That's not a Republican women's club that we were having this morning,'' he said. ''It's a working cow camp, a tough world where you can get kicked in the testicles if you're not careful.''

Asked if some people might be offended, Mr. Williams said: ''I'm not going to give you a serious answer. It wasn't a serious deal. It wasn't a serious statement.''

But today his campaign issued a statement in which Mr. Williams said: ''I feel just terrible about this. I had no intention in my heart to hurt anyone, especially those women who have been traumatized by rape.

''Looking back, I realize it was insensitive and had no place at the campfire or in any setting.''

-The New York Times, March 25, 1990

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