Press Release From House Minority Leader Gary Odom, March 23, 2010:
(Nashville, Tenn.) – I believe that Chairman Turner’s comments were intentionally taken out of context for the purpose of political grandstanding. Chairman Turner stated his personal belief that there are some who oppose our President because of his race. I find it remarkable that House Republicans would condemn the use of racial overtones in political debate, when you consider recent Republican activities in our state and our country.
The following examples of Republican political activities in our state should never be forgotten:
1. Putting a picture of former Rep. Nathan Vaughn and President Obama in a Republican-funded mail piece, which depicted them as blackbirds in the 2008 House of Representatives election in District 2.
2. Former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chip Saltsman sending out Christmas music entitled “Barack the Magic Negro.”
3. Former state Republican Press Secretary Bill Hobbs inferring President Obama is a Muslim by depicting him in traditional African attire and calling his supporters anti-Semites.
4. House Republicans, including the House Republican Caucus Chair, openly signing on as plaintiffs in a frivolous lawsuit questioning whether the president is a citizen of the United States of America.
5. A Republican Senate staff person that sent out a photo composite that pictured all of the U.S. presidents but depicted President Obama in a black background with only two white eyes. She was not terminated for this action.
6. Recent activities in our nation’s Capital where African-American members of Congress were spat on and subjected to the “N-word.”
Following a House Republican Press conference, Mr. Chris Devaney, Chair of the Tennessee Republican Party said in a letter to Chairman Forrester: “I think that … comments about race have no place in a healthy political debate.”
House Democrats agree.