WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Republican Jewish Coalition condemned "in the strongest terms" an Arkansas Republican lawmaker who referred to a Jewish politician as "that Jew."
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said state Sen. Kim Hendren’s remark at a Pulaski County GOP meeting, used to describe U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), is the kind of language that has "no place in politics" because it identifies an individual "solely by their religion, their race or another characteristic."
"Sen. Hendren has since apologized for that comment, and rightly so," Brooks said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Hendren told the Arkansas GOP blog Tolbert Report that he was "attempting to explain that, unlike Sen. Schumer, I believe in traditional values, like we used to see on ‘The Andy Griffith Show.’ I made the mistake of referring to Sen. Schumer as ‘that Jew’ and I should not have put it that way, as this took away from what I was trying to say."
He also told the Arkansas News that he "didn’t know why in the world it came out that way," adding that "there was a Jewish person he did admire, and that would be Jesus," before noting that he also "rather likes Joe Lieberman."