Huffpost Politics

Dems Condemn GOP Lawmaker's 'Tar Baby' Blunder

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FRANK RUFF
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 19: Virginia Senator Frank M. Ruff, (R) during an interview in the State Capitol in Richmond Virginia, August 19, 2009. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images) | Douglas Graham via Getty Images

Despite issuing an apology, Virginia state Sen. Frank Ruff (R) faced more heat on Wednesday for his decision to liken Medicaid expansion to a "tar baby."

WWBT-TV reports that state delegate and Virginia Black Caucus Member Delores McQuinn condemned the comment made by Ruff at a Tuesday Danville, Va. chamber of commerce breakfast, saying that he "should have known better."

"Many had been called that as they were lynched on a tree," McQuinn said, referring to the phrase's use in 19th-century Uncle Remus African folklore stories.

Ruff told the Virginian Pilot by phone Wednesday that he "meant nothing racial" with the comments. He paralleled those remarks in an additional statement.

“None of my comments at the Chamber of Commerce were meant to be offensive, and certainly not racially offensive,” Ruff said, according to the Lynchburg (Va.) News & Advance.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) also reacted to Ruff's words Wednesday, calling the remarks "horrible comments."

"I know he has apologized, but there is no place in the debate that we are having today to be using that kind of language," McAuliffe said, according to WWBT-TV.

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