iOS app Android app More

Rusty DePass, South Carolina GOP Activist, Says Escaped Gorilla Was Ancestor Of Michelle Obama (VIDEO)

First Posted: 07/15/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:30 PM ET

Rusty Depass

South Carolina GOP activist and former chairman of the state elections commission Rusty DePass has apologized for saying a gorilla that escaped from a zoo was an "ancestor" of Michelle Obama.

The controversy started when FITSNews, a local politics Website, obtained a screengrab of DePass's comment on Facebook.

After an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster detailed the escape of the gorilla from Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo, DePass responded with a comment: "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

DePass later admitted to WIS News that he was referring to Michelle Obama and said, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

DePass, who was a county co-chair for Rudy Giuliani's 2008 campaign, supported the push to impeach President Bill Clinton in the late 90s, writing in an op-ed for The State, "Do Republicans have higher moral standards than Democrats?"

Watch CNN's report on the controversy:

FOLLOW HUFFPOST POLITICS

Filed by Marcus Baram  |