And you thought Don Yelton was bad.
Jim Wheeler, a state assemblyman from Nevada and self-styled “Tea Party Republican,” said that he’d bring back slavery if it’s what his constituents wanted.
“If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah, if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for. That’s what a republic is about. You elected a person for your district to do your wants and wishes, not the wants and wishes of a special interest, not his own wants and wishes, yours.”
Wheeler’s comments, said to a group of Storey County Republicans at a town hall meeting, have earned him so much backlash that he has since retracted, though he said that his words were taken out of context.
In context, he was referring to a time he opposed a bill that would require DNA testing for felony convictions. He ended up voting for it anyway because it’s what his constituents wanted.
A conservative blog posed the hypothetical to Wheeler: Would he re-instate slavery if his constituents wanted it?
That’s where wisdom seemed to go by the wayside. Regardless of his personal feelings on the issue, he said that he’d do as his constituents wanted.
His comments were originally made in August, but have been going viral this week after they were shared by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.
“Nobody in that meeting took it literally,” he told the Las Vegas Sun. “I never heard a comment about it until now. If someone is offended by this, then I sincerely apologize.”
Though he has not been asked to resign, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval said that Wheeler’s comments “are deeply offensive and have no place in our society. He should retract his remarks and apologize.”
When asked if he regrets the comment, Wheeler said, “Well, yeah, obviously.”
Wheeler has also since corrected the record. He said he’d resign before re-instating slavery, even if it’s what his constituents wanted. You can watch a video of his original comments at Mediaite.