1:58pm

Tue June 21, 2011
All Politics are Local

GOP, Rural Residents Find Jokes Offensive

Leaders within the Republican Party of Kentucky are demanding Democratic Agriculture Commissioner candidate Bob Farmer apologize for a stand-up comedy routine where he made jokes about people who live in rural parts of the commonwealth. A YouTube video posted by Farmer’s opponent, state Rep. James Comer,  R-Tompkinsville, has hit the Internet showing the Louisville public relations executive lampooning residents in eastern Kentucky as barefoot, inbred and toothless.

“It’s a different kind of place,” Farmer says. “It’s a place where cars are on blocks and houses are on wheels.”

GOP leaders in the region are now calling on the Kentucky Democratic Party to immediately denounce Farmer’s comments, which they say are cruel and offensive.

“I will never respect the man for what he said about the people in my district,” state Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said in a news release. “I represent hard-working people who pay taxes and support their families.  A lot of Democrats from my area will not appreciate this man’s humor.  He couldn’t run for dog catcher here.

Other state elected officials also blasted Farmer, who beat out four other Democrats to win the nomination to replace Republican incumbent Richie Farmer, who cannot run for re-election. In previous interviews, Bob Farmer said the post of agriculture commissioner was about being “the chief marketing agent” for the state.

Seeing an opening on the lower end of the ticket, GOP leaders are pouncing on the gaffe as a way to tie it around state Democrats as a wedge issue.

“If the Kentucky Democratic Party does not renounce this fool’s ridiculous little routine, it will lose every bit of credibility with voters,” Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Steve Robertson said in a statement. “To Bob Farmer I would say this:  don’t quit your day job whatever it is.  You will not be Kentucky’s next agriculture commissioner.”

UPDATE:

The KDP has also slammed the jokes as inappropriate and Farmer quickly issued the following statement.

“I sincerely apologize if my comments offended any of my fellow Kentuckians,” he said. “Over the years I have spoken across the country to groups and shared my love for our commonwealth and its people and hope that people see these comments as an attempt at humor not an insult.”

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