August 27th, 2009
07:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Congresswoman apologizes for 'great white hope' comment

Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins told a Kansas newspaper that she did not intend to make a racist comment when she said her party was looking for a 'great white hope.'
Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins told a Kansas newspaper that she did not intend to make a racist comment when she said her party was looking for a 'great white hope.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Republican congresswoman apologized Thursday for saying that her party is looking for a "great white hope" to counteract President Obama's political agenda.

Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins told the Lawrence Journal-World that she did not intend to make a racist comment, and was simply saying that "Republicans have been suffering in recent years and we need a bright light."

"Obviously I was discussing the future of the Republican Party in response to a question about is there any hope for Republicans," Jenkins said. "I was explaining that there are some bright lights in the House, and I was unaware of any negative connotation. If I offended somebody, obviously I apologize."

Jenkins had been criticized for saying at an August 19 forum in Kansas that the GOP needs "to find the great white hope" to help the party succeed in the future.

"Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope," Jenkins said. "I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington."


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soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. HSNP

    Oh dear, your Freudian slip is showing.

    August 27, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. phoenix86

    Fresh meat for the oh-so-very sensitive liberal left, who need a time-out from their hate-mongering and hidden remorse about electing THE most incompetent president ever.

    August 27, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. ReggO

    I could not find a single topic about this on the FOX websites.

    August 27, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Liberal in madison, WI

    Republicans are a dying breed, people are more educated now and will not accept the closed minded, self serving, racist, gayist, sexist ways of the republican party.

    August 27, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. alpha_nu_916

    america's becoming more diverse by the minute.
    i am a product of a chinese father & an irish/scottish mother.
    i think the last thing the republicans need are more white people – try mixing in some color or end up like the dinosaur.

    August 27, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. pat c

    what a joke the republican party is. RICH OLD WHITE MEN JUST CAN NOT STAND THE FACT THAT A BLACK MAN BEAT THEM FOR THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE LAND.

    August 27, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. genek1953

    Not being a politician, I don't know what would be worse in this situation, having to own up to that little bit of prejudice that lurks deep down inside every human being's subconscious or that I was really so ignorant and ill-read that I didn't know what that phrase referred to.

    August 27, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Ron -- Seattle

    I often wondered what repubs meant when the say, "I want MY country back!"

    Now I know.

    August 27, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. eolufemi

    I prefer when people are honest and not politically correct. At least now we know what we're dealing with when the republican party puts up their next candidate for president...

    August 27, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    haha...GOPer public speaking instructions:

    1. Open Mouth;

    2. Insert Foot;

    3. Apologize Insincerely;

    4. Profit?

    August 27, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Proud American

    I see their still a bunch of Idiots. She meant what she said, let's hope she finds another one just like George.

    August 27, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Squealy

    After listening to Limbaugh this morning (hey, I was in a cab, and the radio was on LOUD), and hearing him talk about how Obama is this angry black man with this angry black man's social agenda, I find it very hard to believe there isn't real racism underneath the Party of Fear's talking points, and in this case, what is usually said behind closed doors, accidentally slipped out of her mouth. In fact, even the commercials on that show were about fear. There was one advocating buying gold, because "the stock market is unreliable, and the way the current government is spending money, you need to prtoect yourself against the mess that is sure to come from this irresponsible spending". That is a paraphrase, but that is what the right is listening to. The result of all that fear-mongering has got to leak out from time to time.

    August 27, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Rick

    [1] Obama Quote: 'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'

    [SOURCE: From "From Dreams of My Father" by Barack Hussein Obama, page-15]

    [2] Obama Quote:That hate hadn’t gone away,' he wrote, 'blaming' white people — some cruel, some ignorant, sometimes a single face, sometimes just a faceless image of a system claiming power over our lives.'

    [SOURCE: From "From Dreams of My Father" by Barack Hussein Obama]

    [3] Obama Quote:'There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white . . .

    [SOURCE: From "From Dreams of My Father" by Barack Hussein Obama]

    [4] Obama Quote:'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.' While in college, Obama wrote (he) disapproved of what he called other "half-breeds” who gravitated toward whites instead of blacks.

    [SOURCE: From "From Dreams of My Father" by Barack Hussein Obama, pages-99-100]

    August 27, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    What an idiotic thing to say. Just like when Obama said he wouldn't raise taxes.

    August 27, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. Bob in Pa

    I believe that is called a metaphor, at least it was back when I was in school.

    August 27, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Lynn

    It's not like this is a suprise.

    The Republican Party has made it very clear that they have no use for people of color (other than white), gender (other than male unless you are a mistress, or ideas (unless you idea of an idea is to say "no").

    They should continue right on with the policy of inclusion by exclusion. They should continue to wait for their great white hope while the rest of the country moves decidedly beyond such nonsense.

    August 27, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Really

    Wow a real Biden moment.

    August 27, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Mike in MN

    Really stupid, really, really stupid.

    August 27, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. John Sivills

    So much about a big tent for Republicans. Why does the hope necessarily have to be white? Can we say Freudian slip?

    August 27, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. tsl

    EVERYONE knows the great white hope is....
    Sicle Cell Anemia!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    August 27, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. IL Bob

    Looks like Lynn Jenkins has opened mouth and inserted foot! It also looks like she has certified the Republican platform, Hypocracy, Bigotry ,and Hatred! She and Palen ought to do well together.

    August 27, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. AdamW

    She had no idea of the racial connotations? Is she completely ignorant? If so then she should not be allowed to serve. Idiot excuses.

    August 27, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. David in Seattle

    Is she apologizing for the comment or apologizing for being a racist. In todays world it seems that people accidentally say what their true feelings are and then apologize for the comment - not for the feeling.

    August 27, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Zach

    She sounds like Obama's pastor for the last 20 years.

    August 27, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  25. CJ/PA

    A "bright light" indeed. Did we all fall off a turnip truck, Congresswoman, or do you just THINK we did. Funny how we show our "true colors" when we're apparently not thinking! I am frankly appalled at how little we have learned over the years and how much racism and prejudice still exists. There are many people who haven't evolved an inch in decades - such a shame and very sad.

    August 27, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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