Student GOP Leader Resigns Over Obama Remark

ALLENTOWN, Pa.

The leader of a statewide group of college Republicans has been forced to resign after posting racially insensitive comments about Sen. Barack Obama on the Internet.

Adam LaDuca, 21, the former executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, wrote on his Facebook page in late July that Obama has “a pair of lips so large he could float half of Cuba to the shores of Miami (and probably would.)”

LaDuca, who had previously called Martin Luther King Jr. a “pariah” and a “fraud,” also wrote: “And man, if sayin’ someone has large lips is a racial slur, then we’re ALL in trouble.”

The College Republicans asked LaDuca to resign after his remarks were publicized by the Pennsylvania Progressive, a blog written by a Democratic committeeman from Berks County. The group announced LaDuca’s resignation on its Web site Friday.

“The comments were completely uncalled for and very offensive,” said Anthony Pugliese, 22, a senior at West Chester University and the chairman of the College Republicans, an umbrella group with more than 50 chapters statewide that works to promote Republican causes and elect GOP candidates. “The Pa. College Republicans do not accept or tolerate racism in any way.”

LaDuca said Monday that he regrets posting the comments and understands how they can be construed as racist. “In hindsight, when you read it a second time, it’s like, ‘oops,’” he said. “It was just a dumb move on my part to make a statement like that public.”

He said he is not a racist and that he admires prominent Blacks such as economist and author Thomas Sowell and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. He compared his comment about Obama to jokes about Republican nominee John McCain’s thinning hair or President Bush’s large ears.

LaDuca is a senior at Kutztown University. Two years ago, Kutztown’s College Republicans chapter was heavily criticized for holding a “bake sale” to protest affirmative action in which whites were charged more for cookies than blacks. LaDuca, then the group’s spokesman, made a public apology on the group’s behalf.

 

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