Tuesday, October 21, 2008

John Murtha is an asshole and should be fired for his "racist" comments


Democratic Rep. John Murtha said Monday some of his constituents in western Pennsylvania are "rednecks" and the entire region just five to 10 years ago was "really redneck."
The comments come one week after he called his own constituents "racist" in an interview with his local newspaper.
"What I said, that indicted everybody, that's not what I meant at all. What I mean is there's still folks that have a problem voting for someone because they are black," Murtha said.
Murtha said the history of southwestern Pennsylvania is teeming with racism. "This whole area, years ago, was really redneck," he told WTAE-TV Pittsburgh.
Murtha, a Democrat, apologized last week for calling the area "racist," but challenger Bill Russell said it was a reckless insult to the people in his district and the "cheapest of cheap shots."
Russell, an Iraq war veteran, swiftly put out a 30-second Web video on Murtha's quote and plastered his Web site with references to it, using it as a fundraising pitch with 19 days to go until the Nov. 4 election.
"It shows once again how much he has lost touch with our constituents," Russell told FOXNews.com on Thursday. "A lot of people are ticked off. It's just one more issue that is ticking off a lot of our constituents and why so many of them feel it is time for a change."
Murtha has held his seat for 17 terms, and Democrats outnumber Republicans by two-to-one in the state's 12th District -- but Russell, a first-time candidate, said the latest development should give him a boost.
Russell, a 28-year Army veteran who recently retired, has been railing against Murtha, also a veteran, for calling for the withdrawal of troops in Iraq and for voting for the financial bailout package.
"We're very much running a race and it may or may not have occurred to him yet," Russell said.
Russell's been almost keeping pace with Murtha on fundraising. The latest finance reports showed Murtha raised $2.1 million for the race. A Russell spokesman said the GOP campaign pulled in $1.6 million in that period.
Murtha touched off the latest firestorm when he offered the possibility that his home base could reduce Barack Obama's margin in Pennsylvania by a few points, though he still expects the Democrat to win the state.
"There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, accounting for potential Election Day poll numbers.
On Thursday, Murtha said he was sorry.
"I apologize for making the comment that 'Western Pennsylvania is a racist area,'" he said in a statement.
"While we cannot deny that race is a factor in this election, I believe we've been able to look beyond race these past few months, and that voters today are concerned with the policy differences of our two candidates and their vision for the future of our great country," he said.
Russell said some voters will always hold "racist attitudes," but that voters in western Pennsylvania who break with Obama will mostly do so over his views on issues like abortion and gun control.
"To take that and apply that to the entire population itself in western Pennsylvania, as he did, is absolutely wrong," Russell said.
But Murtha's campaign chided Russell, who only recently moved to western Pennsylvania, for calling the Democratic veteran out of touch.
"Someone who has lived in Pennsylvania for less than three months can't possibly be an expert on the views and needs of Pennsylvanians," spokesman Matthew Mazonkey said in a statement to FOXNews.com.
FOXNews.com's Judson Berger contributed to this report.
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