The latest insensitive and arguably racist public utterance coming from the supposed party of tolerance and compassion comes from a Democrat in South Carolina. But not just any Democrat. This one is Dick Harpootlian, the Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Harpootlian has a history of making outrageously offensive public remarks about South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, yet he remained as party chairman until (according to Politico) his term ended on Saturday.
Mediaite, Politico, and almost no one else in the establishment press has reported that Harpootlian, speaking at a Jefferson-Jackson dinner Friday night just before Vice President Joe Biden appeared, said while introducing South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen (as carried at Mediaite; HT Instapundit): “In about 18 months from now,” he said, “hopefully he’ll have sent Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from.”
Mediaite’s Matt Wilstein also reports that “The comment drew cheers and laughs from the audience in attendance.”
Politico’s Jonathan Martin notes that Harpootlian’s history also includes never saying he’s sorry:
Harpootlian, a Columbia attorney, has made charged comments for years and become known well beyond South Carolina for his quotes.
At last year’s national Democratic convention, he compared Haley to Adolph Hitler’s mistress, saying the governor “was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun.”
He refused to apologize for that remark.
Martin reports Harpootlian’s weak defense of his Friday remark:
Haley was raised in South Carolina and attended college here, but her parents were Sikh immigrants.
… As to whether he thought the comment could be seen as touching on her race and parents’ immigrant status, Harpootlian responded: “No, she was born in Bamberg [South Carolina] and lived in Lexington. Anybody implying anything different is attempting to feign insult.”
A spokesman for Haley, however, suggested the Democrat was alluding to the governor’s ethnicity.
Without accusing Harpootlian of race-baiting outright, Rob Godfrey called it “play[ing] to the lowest common denominator.”
“Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend coming out of the South Carolina Democratic Party,” said Godfrey.
Try to imagine anyone making a similar remark about President Obama last year and then saying he or she only meant “back to Chicago” or “back to Hawaii.” The press would have covered it for weeks.
A search at the Associated Press’s national web site on the outgoing chairman’s last name comes up empty.
The most recent item on Harpootlian at the New York Times, again based on a search on on his last name, is from October 15, 2012. A separate Times item from the previous month shows Harpootlian as the top Palmetto State-based bundler for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
A Google News search on “Harpootlian Haley” (not in quotes, past seven days, sorted by date) returns five items, none from a national press outlet.
Over at RedState, Moe Lane asserts that Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who is running against former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford in a special congressional election on Tuesday, “must explicitly repudiate Dick Harpootlian’s bigotry.” Indeed.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.