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A new low has been reached for the Republicans in Congress. Before the last second debt ceiling deal, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) referred to President Obama as a “tar baby” prompting immediate backlash.
“Even if some people say, well the Republicans should have done this or they should have done that, they will hold the President responsible,” said Lamborn said Friday during an interview on a Denver radio station. “Now I don’t want to even have to be associated with him. It’s like touching a tar baby and you get, you get it, you know… you are stuck and you are part of the problem now and you can’t get away.”
“I don’t want that to happen to us, but if it does or not, he’ll still get, properly so, the blame because his policies for four years will have failed the American people,” he added.
The term “tar baby” is a reference to 19th-century Uncle Remus stories about Br’er Rabbit but has taken on a negative connotation towards African-Americans. Lamborn spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said the comments were a misunderstanding and he apologizes. “Congressman Lamborn regrets any misunderstanding. He simply meant to refer to a sticky situation or quagmire,” she said.
The White House has not given any comment on Rep. Lamborn’s remarks. However, many others have expressed outrage over Lamborn’s comments. His voicemail quickly filled up to capacity as people around the United States called the congressman’s office over the offensive statement.
The congressman is not the first politician to be caught using the phrase. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., used the term on the campaign trail in 2007 and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney made the mistake in 2006 when referencing a troubled infrastructure project. Both presidential hopefuls apologized for their remarks.
Congressman Lamborn told a local Colorado station that he didn’t mean to offend anyone with his comment. He said that a letter has been sent to the President to offer an apology.
“When I said ‘tar baby’, I was talking economic quagmire that our country is finding ourselves in because of poor economic policy from the White House. I could have used a better term,” said Lamborn, from his D.C. office.
Kjersten Forseth, the Executive Director Of ProgressNow Colorado said she was surprised by the congressman’s comments.”You can use the term to refer to a sticky situation. Where I have concerns is that he’s specifically talking about the president.”