GOP Rep. Calls McCain Racist After Monkey Joke

McCain's Ahmadinejad-themed tweet does not go over very well
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2013 1:54 PM CST
This Sept. 24, 2011 file photo shows Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. speaking on Mackinac Island, Mich.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
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(Newser) – As so often happens, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has triggered a merry-go-round of things we wish we could unhear: It seems the Iranian would like to be sent to outer space, which reminded one John McCain that just last week Iran said it sent a monkey there. And so the senator took to his Twitter account and tapped out this little comedic gem: "So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space - wasn't he just there last week?" along with a link to the monkey story, just in case you had any doubt.

When that pushed the collective Interwebs into convulsions, McCain tweeted again: "Re: Iran space tweet - lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?" McCain's protest led Justin Amash, a GOP representative from Michigan who is of Syrian and Palestinian heritage, to respond: "Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes." The Washington Post recommends you not be too surprised by the GOP tiff, though, noting Amash leans libertarian and was one of 12 GOP Boehner defectors. (Ron Paul, meanwhile, is drawing some heat over a tweet about the "American Sniper" slain this weekend at a gun range, CNN reports.)

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