MURFREESBORO – Lou Ann Zelenik, Chairman of the Rutherford County Republican Party, today called upon Congressman Bart Gordon to apologize to the Middle Tennesseans he insulted in an article appearing in today’s edition of the newspaper Roll Call.
In the article, Gordon dismisses the 6th District’s rejection of Barack Obama’s liberal policies by suggesting that Middle Tennesseans do not understand someone who is “urbane” and suggests that racism played a part in John McCain winning 62% of the vote in 2008. According to Roll Call, when asked if racism was a factor, Gordon replied, “Unfortunately, there was probably a little bit of that, but it was more just being urbane.” He reserves specific comment for Tennesseans from rural areas by stating “If you’re from some of those small counties, [Obama was] some guy from Chicago that speaks differently than you.”
“These statements are appalling,” Zelenik said. “When you have spent 25 years in Washington and cannot find the time during a 30 day recess to visit the 15 counties you represent, I suppose you start to think we can’t understand ‘urbane.’ Tennesseans know bad policy when they see it. That’s why Obama lost and that is why Tennesseans understand that Gordon is out of touch with the district.”
Addressing Gordon’s charge of racism, Zelenik said, “I cannot imagine what would lead a Congressman to insult his constituents in this manner. The idea that Tennesseans vote based on race is a suggestion I reject entirely. The suggestion that Tennesseans are racists is particularly disturbing when it comes from a person who is supposed to represent our values. With these comments, we see what Bart Gordon truly thinks of the people he represents. Next year, Tennesseans will have the opportunity to tell Gordon what we think of his elitist views.
He should immediately explain his remarks and apologize to the people of Tennessee.”