Republican South Carolina State Senator Jake Knotts apologized last week for using a racial slur to disparage both President Obama and Republican State Representative Nikki Haley, who was born in the United States and is of Indian decent.
During an interview on the Internet talk show Pub Politics, Knotts allegedly said, "We’ve already got a raghead in the White House, we don’t need another raghead in the governor’s mansion," according to the show’s co-host Phil Bailey. Due to technical problems, the audio of the conversation was not recorded.
While Knotts admitted that he did use the slur, the state senator said that his comments were intended in jest, and compared the talk show to a radio version of Saturday Night Live.
Haley, who was recently endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, is one of four Republicans and three Democrats in the running to replace Mark Sanford as the governor of South Carolina.
Meanwhile, Haley, a 38-year-old married mother of two, has been accused twice in the last 10 days of having an extramarital affair. Haley vehemently denied both accusations, casting them aside as examples of unethical politics.
"As Nikki Haley rises in the polls, the good old boys in Columbia see their taxpayer-funded fraternity party coming crumbling down," said campaign spokesman Tim Pearson. "They will say or do anything to hold on to their power."
Haley said earlier in the week that she would resign immediately if any proof of an affair comes to light.