Kansas Republican Apologizes for Linking to Racist Rant in Campaign

Kansas Republican Apologizes for Linking to Racist Rant in Campaign

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Republican National Committee member and Kansas congressional candidate Mike Pompeo has personally apologized for a tweet his campaign sent out directing people to check out an article that subjected his opponent, Kansas state Rep. Raj Goyle, to a racist and hate-filled diatribe.

The article that Pompeo’s camp promoted as a “good read” said in part: “Just like his evil muslim (sic) communist USURPER comrad (sic), barrack (sic) hussein (sic) Obama, This goyle (sic) character is just another ‘turban topper’ we don’t need in congress (sic) or any political office that deals with the U.S. Constitution, Christianity and the United States of America!!!”

The posting also said, “This guy could be a muslim (sic), a hindu (sic), a buddhist (sic) etc., who knows, only God, the shadow and…goyle knows! One thing’s for sure…goyle is not a Christian!”

Pompeo, who is facing off against Goyle for a seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., apologized to Goyle Aug. 15. “The statements of the blogger in no way reflect my views,” he said on his campaign Web site. “There is no place in campaigns or in public discourse for language of this nature.”

“He did call me and I accept his apology,” Goyle told the Huffington Post. “What he told me on the call is that he apologized and was shocked by it and it was a communications error…What I will say is, in my campaign, had one of my staff members, senior adviser or intern, sent anything like this out on behalf of the campaign, that person would be fired."

Pompeo recently won a hotly-contested GOP primary (I-W, Aug. 13) that was criticized for its mudslinging. A member of his campaign staff said the tweet was a mistake due to a copy-and-paste error of a URL. It was removed as soon as it was noticed.

Goyle told the Huffington Post that the person who wrote the inflammatory article (retired U.S. Marine Corp Sgt. Bob Pinkstaff) has a history of sending bigoted comments to Goyle dating back to when he was first elected a state legislator.

"I think it is fair to say that I was very shocked and surprised to read that my opponent’s official campaign twitter feed promoted such hateful and vile language,” Goyle added.

Indian American organizations issued statements against the blogger and the campaign snafu.

“We join (Pompeo) in publicly denouncing the bigoted statements against state Representative Goyle,” said Nikhil Joshi, Hindu American Foundation co-founder and board member. “The statements made by the blogger are not only offensive and hurtful to Rep. Goyle, but also to members of all minority faith communities in the United States. Christianity or any faith shouldn’t be used as a litmus test for assessing a candidate’s qualifications to run for office.”

“It is stunning that a candidate for federal office would support such a hateful and bigoted tirade,” said Indian American Leadership Initiative president Kathy Kulkarni in a statement. “There are always people on the fringe who will use ethnic smears to attack Indian Americans, but we are outraged that a candidate for Congress would encourage his supporters to use such tactics.”

The GOP candidates who came in second, third, and fourth place in the Kansas primary have not yet decided whether they will endorse their former rival, the Wichita Eagle reported a few days before the latest controversy swirling around Pompeo surfaced.