Vt. GOP Official Apologizes for Facebook Post

Jul 18, 2012

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A county Republican Party committee chairman apologized Tuesday for a statement he reposted to a party Facebook page that was widely interpreted as a racist attack on President Barack Obama.

Rob Towle, the Rutland County committee chairman, called the statement ‘‘stupid and insensitive.’’ On Monday, he apologized to Democrats he said were offended by the post. A day later, he was directing his apology to everyone.

The original post talked about a ‘‘2012 Social Security Stimulus Package’’ that included cornbread mix, discount coupons to Kentucky Fried Chicken and a prayer rug. Prayer rugs are used by Muslims in religious observances.

It added that the contents of the ‘‘stimulus package’’ included an ‘‘'Obama Hope & Change’ bumper sticker, and a ‘Blame it on Bush’ poster for the front yard. The directions were in Spanish.’’

Towle’s initial apology came after state Democratic Party Chairman Jake Perkinson issued a statement Monday calling the statement ‘‘appalling’’ and ‘‘vile.’’

Towle said someone else had written the message and shared it on his personal Facebook page, and he reposted it on Sunday on the county Republican Facebook page.