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Jake Knotts Calls Nikki Haley, Barack Obama 'Ragheads'

8:21 AM, Jun 4, 2010   |    comments
  • Sen. Jake Knotts (Image: SCETV)
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Columbia, SC (WLTX)--Lexington County State Senator Jake Knotts is in a bit of hot water following his controversial remarks on Nikki Haley and President Barack Obama.

Knotts appeared on a Columbia internet talk show and used a racial slur to describe both Haley and Obama.

The program is called "Pub Politics" and on it Knotts said "We already got one raghead in the White House, We don't need a raghead in the Governor's Mansion."

Haley is an Indian-American and one of the show's host says Knotts made the comment after discussing Haley's background.

Haley has repeatedly stated that she and her husband are practicing Methodists.

Knotts did issue an apology shortly after his remarks. The senator said, "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."

We tried to contact Knotts on Thursday Night, however we were unsuccessful.

Many members of the Republican Party condemned Knotts' remarks on Thursday Night.

State GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd issued this statement Thursday night saying: "The South Carolina Republican party strongly condemns any use of racial or religious slurs. Senator Knotts should apologize for his inappropriate comments, so that we can put this unfortunate incident behind us."

Haley spokesman Tim Pearson said "Jake Knotts represents all that is wrong with South Carolina politics, He's an embarrassment to our state and to the Republican Party."

South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler condemned the remark, and called on Knotts to resign.

"In the last few years South Carolina's Republican officials have repeatedly said and done things that have embarrassed the decent people of this state.  The language Senator Knotts used, and his lame excuse for an apology, are completely unacceptable," Fowler said in a statement. "If he has any shame at all he will resign from the Senate. There should be no room in government for hate speech."

Former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford issued a statement on the controversy.'

"I have watched with revulsion the spectacle that is now surrounding the Governor's race.  Our state is better than this.  I can't help but think that these attacks are being leveled at Nikki Haley because of the courageous stands she has taken over the years in defense of taxpayers and government reform -- stands that offend many of the most powerful interests in state government.  I am more convinced than ever that Nikki Haley is the best person to be South Carolina's next Governor."

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