Murtha Apologizes for Calling Western Pa. Racist

AP, October 16, 2008

Democratic Rep. John Murtha apologized Thursday for saying his home base of western Pennsylvania is racist in talking about Barack Obama’s prospects for winning the state.

In a statement issued by his office, the 17-term congressman said: “I apologize for making the comment that western Pennsylvania is a racist area.”

Murtha also said, “while we cannot deny that race is a factor in this election, I believe we’ve been able to look beyond race these past few months, and that voters today are concerned with the policy differences of our two candidates and their vision for the future of our great country.”

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U.S. Rep. John Murtha says his home base of western Pennsylvania is racist and that could reduce Barack Obama’s victory margin in the state by 4 percentage points.

The 17-term Democratic congressman tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story posted Wednesday on its Web site that, as he put it: “There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area.”

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