This is Lynn Swann. Pro football star. Republican. Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate. Black man:
This is James Seif, who until Wednesday night was the campaign manager for GOP rival gubernatorial candidate Bill Scranton:
On a statewide TV call-in show, Seif and Swann campaign aide Ray Zaborney were debating when Seif casually unloaded a disgraceful race-based slur against Swann:
Download and watch the video (.wmv file).
SEIF: The–uh, uh–Bill Scranton has–and I’ve known him for 30 years now–as much integrity as any person I’ve ever known. And that means intellectual integrity as well. His decision on the primary was made after a great deal of thought, a great deal of anger that one of the candidates had been captured by Senate leadership, by the party, by others, and directed into pretending he had the victory sewn up and pretending that he was the outsider. In fact, the rich white guy in this campaign is Lynn Swann. He’s the one that hangs around the, uh.
ZABORNEY: That’s one of the most ridiculous and insulting things that I think I’ve heard in politics. You’re two-for-two tonight — two of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard in politics.
At the close of the show, Seif defended his remarks when a caller complained about Seif’s characterization of Swann as the “rich white candidate.”
Download and watch the video (.wmv file).
SEIF: If Mr. Swann finds it objectionable, I will apologize. But the fact of the matter is, he’s the guy at the country club that hangs around the country club, plays golf with the legislators and is the inside candidate. Bill Scranton is the insurgent. Bill Scranton will change the rules of the game….Bill’s vision is that we need to be governed with a great deal more integrity, organization, transparency, and the like. The fact is that the voters are remarkably colorblind. That’s wonderful. That’s progress. That’s something a lot of us fought for long ago and still. Uh, uh, but I need to emphasize who’s the insider and who’s the outsider here.
At midnight on Wednesday, Bill Scranton displayed a bit of that integrity and fired Seif from his campaign. “I want to apologize to Lynn Swann, his family, supporters and [Pennsylvania cable news] viewers for the offensive and disturbing comments made on my behalf,” Scranton said in a statement.
But proving that Republicans can be every bit as idiotic and craven as Democrats in invoking race traitor rhetoric, Seif dug himself deeper by denying the gobsmackingly obvious racial overtones of calling a black man white and implying that his success was a renunciation of his skin color:
“There’s no excuse. It was a stupid thing to say,” said Seif, who added that the comment was not intended as a racial slur.
Seif, 60, said he was trying to say that Swann, who portrays himself as a political outsider, was really part of the establishment.
“I tried to underline the idea by turning around race, to show that it was the opposite of what it looked like,” said Seif, who served in the Reagan administration and was head of the state Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Tom Ridge. “There was no racial thought to it.”
We’ve come to expect such unthinking race-based smears from the Left. Now, we’re witnessing the odious spectacle of a Republican operative engaging in the same sort of slander against a fellow Republican. Seif’s sanctimonious comments about fighting for a colorblind society make his defiant defense of his flippant attack all the more galling. National Republicans ought to follow in Scranton’s footsteps and condemn Seif’s remarks as vigorously as they condemned similar attacks by Democrats on black GOP Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.
Some political observers say Scranton’s campaign isn’t over.
Tigerhawk weighs in.
Lynn Swann interview on Fox News over at The Political Teen.
Update: Rodger Morrow, who worked with Seif, shares his insights.blog comments powered by Disqus
May 21, 2012 12:44 PM by Doug Powers
February 26, 2013 01:22 PM by Michelle Malkin
October 12, 2012 10:13 AM by Michelle Malkin
March 9, 2013 04:05 PM by Doug Powers
August 6, 2012 02:45 AM by Michelle Malkin
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