Tammy Baldwin condemns Tommy Thompson Campaign’s insensitive attack against President Obama
Jason Thompson – son of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson and a top member of the Thompson campaign team – was caught on video at a closed door fundraiser this week saying President Obama could be sent ‘back to Kenya’ in this election.
“We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago – or Kenya,” Thompson says at a Sunday brunch sponsored by the Kenosha County Republican Party.
The comments were captured on video and circulated widely on the internet and covered in multiple media reports. Off-screen in the video, a Republican donor can be heard saying “We are taking donations for that Kenya trip!”
The reference is to the long discredited ‘birther’ theory, an extreme, right-wing Republican movement that claims Obama was born in Kenya and is therefore ineligible to be president. While President Obama’s father was born Kenya, Obama himself was born in Hawaii in 1961.
The ‘birther’ theory was been widely debunked and dismissed as nothing more than a wild conspiracy theory, circulated by fringe extremists who only want to hurt Obama politically.
The ‘birther’ attack links Tommy Thompson’s campaign to a sleazy but proven tactic of irresponsible, offensive Tea Party rhetoric to appease those on the far right wing who still believe President Obama wasn’t born in America.
Tammy Baldwin’s campaign – Tommy Thompson’s opponent – quickly condemned the offensive and irresponsible comments made by the top Thompson campaign official.
“Tommy Thompson and his campaign have grown increasing desperate and dishonest. These divisive political tactics have no place in Wisconsin. It’s disappointing and unacceptable that Thompson’s campaign has crossed this line and Tommy Thompson hasn’t said one word about it publically – he has remained silent. He has not apologized for these comments, nor has he disavowed them. Thompson needs to start taking responsibility for what his campaign says and does.”
Tommy Thompson himself is also drawing heavy fire for not more forcefully denouncing the insensitive attacks against President Obama. In addition to being Tommy Thompson’s son, Jason Thompson is a key campaign aide who often represents and speaks for Tommy’s campaign in public.
“First Tommy said he hadn’t seen the video, then he meekly hide behind a toothless statement from his campaign,” said Democratic African-American Caucus Chairwoman Stephanie Findley. “It’s ridiculous that Tommy Thompson is taking the low-road by not coming out and apologizing himself for this outrageously disrespectful attack against President Obama.”