Colorado Republican State Senator Dave Schultheis had the dubious honor of being named "Worst Person in the World" on Thursday by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann for his unfortunate use of Twitter.
"Don’t for a second, think Obama wants what is best for U.S.," Schultheis tweeted. "He is flying the U.S. plane right into the ground at full speed. Let’s roll."
"'Let's roll," Olbermann repeated. "The rallying cry from Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, PA on 9/11."
Schultheis has denied that the 911 reference was intentional, telling the Denver Post, "It's a comment people use all the time any more. 'Let's get going. Let's move on. Let's make major changes,' I can see it now. But you're busy doing jillions of things during the day. You sometimes don't analyze every single word."
Schultheis also suggested that his own reputation for controversial statements may have given people the wrong idea. Last winter, he aroused outrage when he was the only member of the Colorado state senate to vote against a bill requiring HIV testing for pregnant women, objecting that it would "remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior."
Nobody in Colorado, however, seems to be accepting Schultheis's excuses. The Democratic president of the state senate called his remark "appalling" and even the minority leader agreed that "Dave shouldn't have gone there."
The Denver Post mocked Schultheis by responding with some tweets of its own.
"DenverPost_EdBoard @Sen_Schultheis: Don't think we buy your claim you didn't mean to equate the president with terrorists. No one is buying it."
"DenverPost_EdBoard @Sen_Schultheis: To believe that the American people elected a president intent on destroying the U.S. is hateful and absurd. Such debate is debasing."
"DenverPost_EdBoard @Colorado_GOP: Demand that Sen. Schultheis apologize. Insist that your party keep its criticisms meaningful. The president isn't a Manchurian destructor."
"Apologize, resign, get impeached," Olbermann exhorted Schultheis in conclusion. "Do something to make us forget that you just mocked the dead of 9/11!"
This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast Nov. 12, 2009.