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Murtha: Sorry I Called You Racists Racist

Jack Murtha has issued a statement that is just bizarrely worded. In the same breath which he apologizes for calling Western Pennsylvanians racists, he affirms that he indeed believes they are.

October 16, 2008


Murtha Statement on Comments made about Western Pennsylvania Yesterday

JOHNSTOWN, PA -- Congressman John P. Murtha, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, was quoted yesterday in remarks made at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (www.post-gazette.com ) and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (www.pittsburghlive.com ). He issued the following statement today: "I apologize for making the comment that 'Western Pennsylvania is a racist area.'

"While we cannot deny that race is a factor in this election, I believe we've been able to look beyond race these past few months, and that voters today are concerned with the policy differences of our two candidates and their vision for the future of our great country.

"Senator Obama has shown sound judgment and has presented us with a change from the failed policies of George Bush and John McCain. I believe he will win both Pennsylvania and the White House."

He cannot help himself. He apologizes for saying that "Western Pennsylvania is a racist area," and instead of simply affirming that people there are not racists, he praises them for putting their perceived racism aside for at least the last few months.

You can't make this stuff up.

No one accused Pennsylvanian Jack Murtha of racism when he opposed Lynn Swann's gubernatorial run in the Keystone State. Funny how that works.

No. It's not. It's right how it works on one side and appalling how it works on the other.

My wife worked for a major cable news network for about a decade. When the Republican National Convention came to New York City in 2004, she worked it with them. She asked me one night heading in if I wanted anything. I initially said no, to which she said, "No sign, not anything?" I replied that that would be fine. How often do you have so many Republicans - elected or voting - within a 5 minute drive of my home in the Peoples Republic, anyway?

"Want any autographs or anything?" she asked, trying to accommodate my passion for politics. I laughed. "No, no. No need for any of that business." Then I paused. And gave her a longshot just because. "You know, if you see J.C. Watts, his I would take. That's probably the one politician in the whole place I would go out of my way to shake hands with and thank. He's my favorite Republican." I am loathe to treat politicians as some sort of stars or heroes.

As fate would have it, my wife was returning home, with a Bush-Cheney 2004 sign in tow - in the middle of Manhattan mind you - and waiting for a cab. Who walks across the street? J.C. Watts. My wife almost fell over. "J.C. Watts? Oh you have no idea..." And she proceeded to tell him the story of how his, of all those at the convention, was the name I mentioned and how much I thought of him and why.

Ever gracious and genuine, as she later conveyed was just as I had described, he penned his name to the Bush-Cheney 2004 sign with as much enthusiasm as I took in describing him to my wife. It hangs in my office to this day.

No. The broad charges of racism are not funny - not from Murtha, not from news commentators, and not from the candidate himself. Nor is it funny that such false blanket charges never come from Republicans when referencing others' opposition to their candidates (Swann, Steele, Blackwell, et al). It's just plain right that it doesn't. And just plain wrong when it does from Murtha and others. Not just wrong in principle, but wrong in fact.

And I am damn tired of being forced to defend against such outright garbage.

Shame on you, Jack Murtha. You disgust me.


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Comments (18)

He's overdue for retirement... (Below threshold)

He's overdue for retirement but as long as he's a liability I say put him in front of a microphone and let him continue to make an ass of himself and expose the racist leanings of the party he belongs to.

Once a marine always a mari... (Below threshold)

Once a marine always a marine except when you become a traitor. Murtha is one of the few 'X' marines in the world. He accused the marines of cold blooded murder and is being sued for his idiot remarks. Now if someone can sue him for calling them racist his defeat would be assured.

Democrats seem to be the mo... (Below threshold)

Democrats seem to be the most racist folks around. EVERYTHING revolves around skin color.

Martin Luther King would be appalled.

Murtha is a screwball, and ... (Below threshold)

Murtha is a screwball, and hardly representative of most Democratic officeholders any more than Larry Craig is typical of most Republicans. Both parties have a few "crazy uncles".

Where's the outrage? Where'... (Below threshold)

Where's the outrage? Where's the call for him to resign? Where's the ACLU? Where's Keith Olbermann?

All I hear are the crickets and tumbleweeds of a double standard.

Paul, you couldn't be more ... (Below threshold)

Paul, you couldn't be more wrong. Murtha is the guy your party leaders held up as an expert in military, etc. He was the media darling and ALL dems embraced him. Your comparison is just idiotic. I did not even hear or know Craig until his incident. Cheesh! I live for the day that a lib can say they are wrong. ww

Murtha = SEMPER ONE!!... (Below threshold)

Murtha = SEMPER ONE!!!

"All I hear are the cricket... (Below threshold)

"All I hear are the crickets and tumbleweeds of a double standard."

Wow. I like that. :)

Both parties have a few ... (Below threshold)

Both parties have a few "crazy uncles".

Eh - aunts, too - Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, nutbag McKinney ... hmmm - seems the nutty aunts dominate a certain political side of the moat.

I'm not trying to minimize ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I'm not trying to minimize this or anything, but on the long list of things for which Murtha needs to apologize, this is not at the top.

No surprise that he rose to power and prominence in the Democrat party, though.

Nice try Hoosen, but wrong.... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

Nice try Hoosen, but wrong.

Murtha is a long term subcommittee chair for defense appropriations and was floated by Pelosi for the position of majority leader when she was elevated to speaker.

Craig is a career back bencher that no one would ever have heard of if he had not been caught seeking his jollies in a public restroom.

How's he doing in the polls... (Below threshold)

How's he doing in the polls?

I thought we had a pretty good candidate going up against him...

For what it's worth, I was ... (Below threshold)
Jon S.:

For what it's worth, I was hoping that JC Watts would be the surprise McCain VP pick. No disrespect to Palin, who I like a lot.

O brother where art thou:<b... (Below threshold)

O brother where art thou:
"Is you is or is you ain't my constituency"

lee lee is calling you Paul... (Below threshold)

lee lee is calling you Paulie Hoosie.

As an old combat vet I REAL... (Below threshold)

As an old combat vet I REALLY want to hit this scumbag where it hurts,...in his lazy pork-laden political career.

Just donated to LTC Bill Russell's campaign. Bill's a recently retired airborne ranger qualified USMA grad. Lots of combat leadership experience as an infantry officer in both Gulf Wars and Kosovo (little closer to danger than sitting on your fat ass in an S-2 shop in Saigon). Bill's raising lots of cash.

I think he'd do a fine job leading thos racists in western PA. Go take a look.


I was stationed next door i... (Below threshold)

I was stationed next door in Jersey another lifetime ago and, all I can tell you is, I still wonder why God hasn't annexed that friggin' wasteland yet. He must be sparing the Liberty Bell.

testing... (Below threshold)







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