S.C. Republicans apologize for using Jewish stereotype

Two county party chairs say they're sorry for comparing Sen. Jim DeMint to Jew "watching our nation's pennies"


Alex Koppelman
October 20, 2009 9:10PM (UTC)

In the world of politics, apologies for various slights, real or imagined, are generally pretty lame. Even by that standard, though, the apology offered by one of two county chairs in the South Carolina Republican Party who compared Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., to a Jew "watching our nation's pennies" was remarkable.

The apology -- or, really, non-apology -- from James Ulmer, Jr.:

Advertisement:

Last week I co-authored a letter to the editor which focused on the vital importance of reining in the unsustainable and excessive federal government spending which is going on currently in Washington, D.C. In one of the paragraphs which I wrote, I quoted a statement which I have heard many times in my life, truly in admiration for a method of bettering one's lot in life.

I admit that perception is indeed reality to many and that I could have certainly worded that sentence much better. I sincerely apologize for this great error. If I had quoted that great man from Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin, using his, "A penny saved is a penny earned," I doubt I would be writing this note.

I meant absolutely nothing derogatory by the reference to a great and honorable people. I hope that anyone and all who were offended by my comment will accept my humble apology.

Ulmer's colleague Edwin Merwin, Jr. was much more contrite, saying:

Last week I co-authored a letter to the editor that focused on the vital importance of reining in the unsustainable and excessive federal government spending which is going on currently in Washington, D.C.

At this time I wish to deeply apologize for any material included in that letter that would be considered antisemitic in any way. I have always abhorred in the past, and shall continue to do so in the future, antisemitism in any form whatsoever. I concur fully with the apology offered by my co-author, Jim Ulmer, and likewise beg that any and all who were offended will accept my deep felt apology.

DeMint himself has weighed in on the letter sent by Ulmer and Merwin, saying in a statement that "the comments were thoughtless and hurtful."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Anti-semitism Jim Demint, R-s.c. War Room

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •