News yesterday of an intemperate remark
by 2nd District Republican Chair Johnny Rhoda
of Clinton has prompted near-silence from Republicans.
You wonder the Republican response if a Democratic 2nd District chair had said Mike Huckabee
would be likely to be shot at the state line if he returned to his former state of residence as a candidate. That's what Rhoda did in commenting to David Catanese on Hillary Clinton's
election chances in Arkansas in 2016.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette didn't find newsworthy a comment on potential assassination of a candidate by a high-ranking Republican. This is the sum of what I can find from Republicans:
* OUT OF CONTEXT:
Rhoda, an insurance agent who also pastors a church,
really didn't apologize. He said the quote had been "taken out of context" and "blown out of proportion." He commented, "Perhaps I used the wrong word."
* YES, BUT ….
A spokesman for 2nd District Congressman Tim Griffin,
after criticism from his Democratic opponent John Burkhalter,
issued a brief statement. Rhoda's words were "obviously inappropriate," the statement said, but only after saying Burkhalter was confused in linking Griffin to Rhoda. He wasn't confused a bit. Rhoda may not be a campaign chair for Griffin this year, but he was when he ran for Congress
and Griffin then extolled his virtues, including his bogus Ph.D. from Belford University
* THE OUTLIER
: State Rep. Mark Lowery
of Maumelle commented on our blog post with direct disapproval (albeit with a 'but" about the candidacy itself):
I will certainly go on the record disavowing this ridiculously offensive statement by Mr. Rhoda. A number of us among the Arkansas House Republican Caucus are exploring options available to us to officially reprimand Mr. Rhoda.
Though many conservatives are not happy with the idea of another Hillary Clinton presidential campaign we do not approve of the kind of hyperbolic statements made by Mr. Rhoda. Ms. Clinton's abysmal tenure as Secretary of State - especially regarding her role in the Benghazi debacle - is sufficient to deny her the Presidency. No offensive threats are necessary.
Republicans otherwise have been dead silent. 2nd District Republican congressional candidate French Hill
has not responded to calls that he urge a new leader of the district he wants to represent. The state party? Dead silence.
The quote has gotten immense coverage on the web, if not in Arkansas media.
Maybe an Arkansas Republican making remarks about the likelihood of a Democratic presidential candidate being shot here is simply unremarkable. Not news. Dog bites man.
If so, we have a problem.