Knotts: "I am proud to be stereotyped as a redneck"

Sen. Jake Knotts
Sen. Jake Knotts

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Lexington County senator who took heat for using a racial slur to describe President Barack Obama and fellow legislator Nikki Haley defended himself during a State House vote Tuesday.

Making references to Rusty DePass, a Republican Party member who compared Michelle Obama to a primate, the infidelity claims lobbed at Haley, and even Sanford's infidelity scandal, Sen. Jake Knotts accused the Lexington County GOP of hypocrisy.

"Had my remark only been about President Obama and not about Representative Haley, would it have even risen or raised an eyebrow with the Lexington County party or any of the other parties around the state?" said Knotts, referring to a double and triple standard he claims the political parties have.

Knotts called Obama and Haley "ragheads" during the taping of an Internet political show.

After the remark received press from around the world, Knotts was publicly reprimanded and censured by the Lexington County Republican Party, a group he says has been infiltrated by libertarians.

Knotts continued his speech, saying he was proud to be called a redneck and referred to the hypocrisy of many of the people he says have criticized him.

"I am proud to be stereotyped as a redneck by the true meaning. The true meaning, which many of you may know, is a hard-working farmer that works from dawn to dust in the fields to support his family and got a red neck from the sun," said Knotts.

Knotts reiterated that he would not resign from his seat and the party despite pressure to do so.

"If all of us rednecks leave the Republican Party, the party is going to have one hell of a void," said Knotts. "If I thought by resigning it would stop the hypocrisy in politics, then I might would consider it. But I won't. I am not going to resign under any circumstances. That is out.

The long-time senator rounded out the speech by issuing a second public apology to Haley and the president.

"I deeply regret the remarks that I said and have already apologized for, anyone even asked me to. I'm sorry my disgusting remarks offended some people," said Knotts. "In these days and times, anything you say can possibly offend people. It's the way you say it and the meaning you put to it. I am, and will continue to be the Jakie Knotts I have always been from a boy, to a man."

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