Republican Representative Doug Lamborn of Colorado apologized Monday for saying that being associated with President Barack Obama would be like touching a “tar baby.”
“Even if some people say, ‘Well the Republicans should have done this or they should have done that,’ they will hold the president responsible,” he said in an interview Friday on AM 630 KHOW. “Now, I don’t even want to have to be associated with him. It’s like touching a tar baby and you get it, you’re stuck, and you’re a part of the problem now and you can’t get away.”
“I don’t want that to happen to us, but if it does or not, he’ll still get, properly so, the blame because his policies for four years will have failed the American people,” he added.
The concept of a “tar baby” originated in African folklore and was popularized by one of Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus stories. In its original context, the term means “something used to entrap a person” but has also been used as a derogatory term for black people.
“Tar Baby is clearly a racist term, and Congressman Lamborn should apologize for using it, just as other Republican leaders like Mitt Romney and John McCain have in the past,” said AM760 radio host David Sirota.
After the media picked up on his comment, Lamborn’s office issued a public apology to Obama.
“Lamborn was attempting to tell a radio audience last week that the President’s policies have created an economic quagmire for the nation and are responsible for the dismal economic conditions our country faces,” a statement by his office said. “He regrets that he chose the phrase ‘tar baby,’ rather than the word ‘quagmire.’ The Congressman is confident that the President will accept his heartfelt apology.”