WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) — A Republican congressman has apologized to President Barack Obama for saying being linked to him was “like touching a tar baby.”
Speaking of the debt ceiling issue, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., said during an interview with a Denver radio station Friday: “I don’t even want to have to be associated with him. It’s like touching a tar baby, and you get it — you know, you’re stuck, and you’re part of the problem now, and you can’t get away.”
Though a dictionary defines “tar baby” as “something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself,” it also has long been considered a racist slur.
Monday evening, Lamborn’s office said he had “sent a personal letter to President Obama apologizing for using a term some find insensitive,” The Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
Rosemary Harris Lytle, president of the Colorado Springs NAACP, said: “The world already views [the area] as ultra-conservative, ultra-right-wing, Tea-Party-loving, gay-bashing, an epicenter of hate. With two vitriolic words, our own congressman again sealed our fate.”
“It’s disgraceful that anyone would try and insinuate that he was being racist,” said Eli Bremer, chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party. “… It’s really unfair to take something completely out of context.”