Two words for Rep. John Murtha: Stop digging. Fertheluvvagawd, stop digging.
Rep. Murtha made news last week with his announcement that western Pennsylvania was overrun with racists, and that was why Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was having trouble finding traction in that part of the state. A day or two later, he apologized for those remarks, and for good measure he cancelled a scheduled debate that night with his opponent this year, Bill Russell, ostensibly to escape probing questions about why he’d say something so inexplicably boneheaded.
Today, he figured he’d “clarify” those remarks. He scaled back the scope of his name-calling to “certain segments” of the region, and in the process called western Pennsylvanians “rednecks” instead, adding that such folks frequently had trouble accepting a black candidate (in effect, repeating the “racist” smear he’d just apologized for a week earlier, only applied to slightly fewer people).
Just days after classifying western Pennsylvania as racist, Murtha took a step back from those comments, albeit a small one.
“What I said, that indicted everybody, that’s not what I meant at all. What I mean is there’s still folks that have a problem voting for someone because they are black,” Murtha said.
Murtha said the history of southwestern Pennsylvania is rife with racism.
“This whole area, years ago, was really redneck,” Murtha told Channel 4 Action News.
And the Bill Russell campaign ad footage just keeps on coming. At this rate, look for the next Murtha/Russell debate to be rescheduled for sometime in late 2011.