Infamous Knotts "raghead" video leaks to the Internet - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Infamous Knotts "raghead" video leaks to the Internet

Posted: Updated:

An infamous political rant starring state Sen. Jake Knotts that drew a strong rebuke from Gov. Nikki Haley, the state Republican Party, and the Lexington County Republican Party has leaked to the Internet.

In the video, which has never before been seen, Knotts strongly criticized President Barack Obama and Haley, a then-member of the state House of Representatives, just days before she won the GOP nomination for governor.

"We got a raghead in Washington. We don't need a raghead in the State House," Knotts said.

Knotts also criticized Haley's Sikh immigrant parents and Haley's conversion to Christianity.

"[The voters] going to find out in the next three days that her daddy wears a turban around Lexington and her mommy has a ruby between her head and she is a Sikh and trying to be a Methodist, and it gets to Greenville, around the Bob Jones University people, they're not going to like that."

The video comes from a "lost" episode of PubPolitics, a political Internet talk show hosted by Republican Party consultant Wesley Donehue and Democratic Party consultant Phil Bailey.

Donehue says he was shocked by the video's release because he kept it locked away.

"No one on the Pub Politics team leaked this video and we have no clue who did," Donehue said.

BuzzFeed says they received a copy of the video from an "unfamiliar, and anonymous, account."

Knotts' comments caused a political firestorm in the state and drew a strong response from fellow Republicans and Democrats. He eventually apologized.

"My 'raghead' comments about Obama and Haley were intended in jest," Knotts said in a statement. "Bear in mind that this is a freewheeling, anything-goes Internet radio show that is broadcast from a pub. It's like [the] local political version of Saturday Night Live, which is actually where the joke came from."

"Since my intended humorous context was lost in translation, I apologize," he continued. "I still believe Mrs. Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I apologize to both for an unintended slur."

Knotts was also censured by the Lexington County GOP for the comment against Haley. He was even asked to resign in the wake of the controversy, but stood defiant.

"No, I'm not going to resign from office and they can say what they want to," Knotts said. "I made a mistake. I immediately recognized it and apologized."

Knotts once again apologized for the incident in a statement released to the media several hours after the video surfaced.

"When this story first appeared two years ago, I was embarrassed. I'm embarrassed again now," Knotts said.

"It was a very poor attempt at satire in an interview given inside a pub.  But it wasn't funny.  It was offensive. And I very much regret my remarks."

Blaming the whole thing on "campaign operatives", the senator says the video was released only to hurt him politically.

Knotts is currently running unopposed for his Lexington County state senate seat.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow