South Carolina GOP activist Rusty Depass referred to one of Michelle Obama’s ancestors as a gorilla on his Facebook page.

Rusty Depass

Rusty Depass

In a Facebook comment regarding a report about a gorilla escape at a zoo, Rusty Depass wrote, “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors – probably harmless.”

Depass later apologized on local television, “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.” But he added in his apology, “The comment was hers, not mine,” claiming Michelle Obama made statements that humans descended from apes.

Why are a local politician’s comments making national news? Because this story can be spun to make all conservatives seem like racist hicks.

Liberals, I’m sure, are going to use this event to try to show that conservatives are racist. Before they do so, they should consider that DePass is a former chairman of the Richland County GOP and co-chairman of Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign in Richland County. That makes him a pretty prominent guy in South Carolina, but hardly a spokesperson for the GOP. There are probably as many prominent liberals who have made offensive comments regarding Obama’s ancestry as Republicans. Remember the whole “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina” thing from Bill Clinton? What was being implied there?

Comparing Michelle Obama to a gorilla has obvious racial implications that are offensive to African Americans. However, these remarks reflect on Depass alone. His comments were roundly condemned in South Carolina by liberals and conservatives alike.

Now, bring on the hillbilly conservative redneck comments…