A Republican candidate for Colorado’s state house released a sarcastic video Tuesday in which he purported to apologize for suggesting Democratic Rep. Jared Polis would behead American Christians.
The Republican had initially likened Polis to Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
Saying that his comments were nothing more than hyperbole and that “some Democrats do not have a sense of humor,” Gordon Klingenschmitt then poured water on his head and challenged Polis to do the same in the name of ALS research.
In an email newsletter to his supporters on Monday, Klingenschmitt complained about “openly homosexual Congressman Jared Polis” and his support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which Klingenschmitt said amounted to persecution of Christians.
“The open persecution of Christians is underway,” he wrote, according to a copy of the newsletter reprinted in the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Democrats like Polis want to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy. Next he’ll join ISIS in beheading Christians, but not just in Syria, right here in America.”
Both Democrats and Republicans swiftly and roundly condemned the comments, with the GOP spokesman saying in a statement to the Denver Post that Klingenschmitt didn’t speak for the Republican Party as a whole and that he should apologize.
Appearing more bemused than apologetic, Klingenschmitt’s video isn’t likely to satisfy critics on either side of the aisle. He begins by defining hyperbole before saying that Democrats just can’t take a joke.
“So I want to issue a personal apology to you, Congressman Polis,” he said. “Even though you’re an openly gay Democrat and you are passing policies that would persecute some Christian business owners here in America, I would never compare you to the ISIS rebels who behead Christians, right? Of course you would never go in for something like that.”
The Islamic State terrorist group sparked horror and outrage after releasing a video last week in which a masked executioner beheads American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012. The group also threatened to kill another captured American journalist in the same fashion.
At the end of his video, Klingenschmitt perplexingly appeals to Polis to join him in making a charitable donation to ALS research. After completing the “ice-bucket challenge” on himself, he nominates Polis, openly gay Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino and GOP chairman Ryan Call to do the same.
“The Colorado Republican Party has squandered their credibility over and over again with these kinds of over the top and offensive remarks,” Ferrandino said in a statement to the Gazette, in reaction to Klingenschmitt’s original comments. “They are far behind the people of Colorado when it comes to issues of basic fairness, civil rights, and apparently even common decency.”
As noted by the Denver Post, this isn’t the first time Klingenschmitt has made unique statements about political issues and subsequently caused his party to distance itself from him. He once claimed that the Affordable Care Act caused cancer and has called President Barack Obama a “demon.”
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