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Republicans Distance Themselves From GOP State Lawmaker's Racist NAACP Comment

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A GOP state lawmaker is in hot water over a controversial tweet, and it appears Republicans are hesitant to come to his defense.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah's top GOP leaders are distancing themselves from state Rep. David Lifferth (R-Eagle Mountain) amid his comments about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the NAACP.

Before the tape of Sterling's racist remarks surfaced last week, the owner was set to receive a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP. The organization later decided not to present the award. In a statement, NAACP Salt Lake Branch President Jeanetta Williams denounced Lifferth's comments, saying she was "astonished" by his lack of knowledge.

According to the Tribune, Lifferth later expanded on his remark, saying that "Yes, any group that tries to advance specific people based of their race is by definition racist." As of that Wednesday evening report, Utah GOP chairman James Evans and Gov. Gary Herbert (R) had both declined to comment, and the paper was unable to reach state House Speaker Becky Lockhart (R-Provo).

In a Tuesday interview with KSTU-TV, Lifferth stood by his sentiment, adding that he is "truly not a bigot or racist."

"I love all people regardless of the color of their skin," he told the television station over the phone. "The reason I said what I said on Twitter today (Tuesday) is because the NAACP is based on the external color of someone’s skin and we should be beyond that."

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