A North Carolina Republican official has been fired from the state party executive board following an appearance on The Daily Show in which he boasted about the implications of the widely-criticized voting law recently enacted by the GOP-heavy state legislature, but he refuses to apologize for his remarks.
“There’s nothing I said that I would take back. So be it,” state GOP executive committee member Don Yelton said in an interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times published on Thursday. “The activity going on across the state today proves what I said is true. The Democrats are jumping on it like flies after honey.”
In the interview, which aired Wednesday night, Yelton tells Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi that the new voting law, which mandates voter identifications, the curtailing of early voting operations and does not allow college students to vote using their school ID, “is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.” He also dismisses concerns that the law will particularly affect communities of color by saying, “If it hurts a bunch of lazy Blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”
The interview was quickly criticized by the state conference of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a statement on Thursday.
“I was disgusted, but not surprised, by Don Yelton’s arrogant remarks about North Carolina’s voter suppression law,” conference president Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II said in the ACLU’s statement. “This Republican executive committee member laid bare everything that we know politicians are trying to do through this legislation – which is to manipulate our voting laws, making it harder for certain communities to participate, in order to unfairly win elections. This shameful law is not about stopping voter fraud; it’s about stopping voting.”
According to WRAL-TV, Buncombe County GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell confirmed in a separate statement that Yelton had been asked to vacate his position and also called Yelton’s statements “offensive, uniformed and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party.”
“Let me make it very clear: Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon,” Mitchell’s statement read. “This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party.”
Watch the interview that got Yelton in trouble, as aired Wednesday night on Comedy Central, below.