GOP Kentucky state lawmakers apologize after recommending the government 'Jew down' a lease price

Two lawmakers for Kentucky's Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee have apologized for making anti-Semitic comments while discussing a state lease agreement on Tuesday, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Rep. Walker Thomas and committee chairman Sen. Rick Girdler, both Republicans, used the phrase “Jew them down” when talking about bargaining for a lower price on a lease.

Kentucky legislators apologize after using anti-Semitic phrase during committee meeting

“I sincerely regret using that term and apologize to anyone harmed by my use of it. This is not who I am, nor is it what my faith leads me to be,” Thomas said. “It is a phrase I have heard throughout my life, but this experience has provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the impact that words have and the fact that we must be smarter today than we were yesterday.“

Rabbi Shlomo Litvin, executive director of Chabad of the Bluegrass and chairman of the Kentucky Jewish Council, told the Herald Leader that the phrase is a “dangerous relic of a hateful bygone era” that has no place in Kentucky.

“The phrase ‘Jew them down’ Is an extremely offensive one, with a long and bloody history of use against the Jewish community,” Litvin said.

Read more at the Lexington Herald Leader.