GOP Official: Sorry About Obama-Chimp Email, But...

...It's not racist, says California party official Marilyn Davenport
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2011 4:03 AM CDT
Updated Apr 18, 2011 4:23 AM CDT
A Republican Party official in Orange County has created a furor after emailing around a "joke" photo of President Obama as a chimpanzee.   (public domain)

(Newser) – A Republican party official from California who emailed an altered Obama "family photo" featuring the president's face copied onto a chimpanzee's body says she is "sorry if my email offended anyone." But she said she never considered it racist, reports the New York Daily News. Marilyn Davenport said she simply was amused by the photo caption—"Now you know why no birth certificate"—and said she didn't connect the ape to Obama being "half-black." In fact, "the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race," she told the Orange County Weekly.

Many Republican officials have expressed outrage over the email. "It's unbelievable," said a high-ranking Orange County GOP official. "I can't believe it was sent out. I'm not an Obama fan, but how stupid do you have to be to do this?" But Davenport has refused to resign from the Republican Orange County committee. "Oh, come on!" Davenport said. "Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black."

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