South Carolina State Sen. Jake Knotts (R) has apologized for referring to President Obama and Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley as “ragheads,” saying that he meant the comment as a joke.
“We’ve already got a raghead in the White House, we don’t need another raghead in the governor’s mansion,” Knotts said on the internet political talk show Pub Politics, according to co-host Phil Bailey.
Haley is of Indian descent. There does not appear to be audio available of the comment.
Knotts isn’t refuting Bailey’s account, issuing a statement apologizing for his comment — and explaining it as part of a “freewheeling, anything-goes Internet radio show that is broadcast from a pub.”
If it had been recorded, the public would be able to hear firsthand that my ‘raghead’ comments about Obama and Haley were intended in jest. Bear in mind that this is a freewheeling, anything-goes Internet radio show that is broadcast from a pub. It’s like local political version of Saturday Night Live, which is actually where the joke came from.
He continued: “I still believe Ms. Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I do apologize to both for an unintended slur.”
Haley’s received a ton of attention in the last two weeks over claims from two GOP operatives that they’d had inappropriate physical relationships in the past with her. Haley has denied the claims, and has gone so far as to say she’d resign as governor if the allegations were ever proven true.
Knotts supports Haley opponent Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer in the gubernatorial primary.