GOP activist says escaped gorilla was "ancestor" of Michelle Obama
"The SWAT team is on the way to COLUMBIA, SC as we read about it !"
Jokes are funny things.
Sometimes the same joke works with one person and falls flat with another. Sometimes, though, the joke just isn't funny at all. That can be forgotten when it's made in the company of friends over a gin, a tonic, and a country club bar. Perhaps, though, it is less easily forgotten when it is made on Facebook. What is said on Facebook stays on Facebook. Often for quite some time.
You see, according to a report by WIS10 TV in Columbia, S.C., Rusty DePass, a prominent Republican Party activist, happened to see a Facebook post by an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster. The post described an escape by a gorilla on Friday from the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.
DePass, once a state Senate candidate, responded to the post with these words: "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless." We spoke with DePass over the phone Friday night. He said, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A state Republican activist has admitted to and apologized for calling a gorilla that escaped from the Riverbanks Zoo Friday an "ancestor" of First Lady Michelle Obama.
A screen capture of the comment, made on the Internet site Facebook, was obtained by FITSNews, the website of South Carolina politico Will Folks.
The image shows a post by an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster describing Friday morning's gorilla escape at Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo.
Longtime SCGOP activist and former state Senate candidate Rusty DePass responded with the comment, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."
DePass told WIS News 10 he was talking about First Lady Michelle Obama.
DePass has been involved in state politics for decades, and helped elect Republican Governor Jim Edwards in 1974. He was an early South Carolina supporter of former President George W. Bush in 2000.
We asked some of DePass' political allies and rivals what they thought about the comment.
"Even if it was taken out of context - its not something that should have ever been said. It's sad, disappointing, and unfortunate," said former SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson.
Columbia Mayor Bob Coble also condemns the comment.