June 10th, 2010
06:16 PM ET
4 years ago

S.C. GOP official: Expel lawmaker for 'raghead' comment

A Republican official in South Carolina will put forth a motion next month for State Sen. Jake Knotts’ (pictured) expulsion from the state party.
A Republican official in South Carolina will put forth a motion next month for State Sen. Jake Knotts’ (pictured) expulsion from the state party.

(CNN) – The chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party, the largest county party organization in South Carolina, said Thursday that the lawmaker who called Nikki Haley a "raghead" should be expelled from the state party.

State Sen. Jake Knotts used the slur in the final days of the Republican gubernatorial primary, which Haley won by a wide margin. Haley is of Indian-American descent and was raised Sikh, but converted to Methodism.

Greenville County GOP chairman Patrick Haddon, who also serves as First Vice Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, said he will motion for Knotts' expulsion at the next meeting of the state party's executive committee.

"I cannot sit idly by and watch our Party be torn apart by Senator Jake Knotts' bigotry," Haddon said in a statement. "This is the harshest penalty the Party can impose, and it is more than justified in this situation."

Haddon also linked Knotts to Rep. Joe Wilson, a close friend of Knotts and fellow Lexington County resident who once appeared in a campaign ad for the state Senator. Wilson's wife, Roxanne, is a key Knotts adviser.

"I also call upon all Republicans endorsed by Senator Knotts to refuse his endorsement, and all Republicans who have endorsed Knotts to withdraw their endorsements," Haddon said. "I especially call on our great congressman, Rep. Joe Wilson, to withdraw his endorsement of Senator Knotts, and on Roxanne Wilson to resign as Knotts' campaign manager."

Knotts also faces a possible censure Thursday night at a meeting of the Lexington County Republican Party.

Knotts could not immediately be reached for comment.


Filed under: Jake Knotts • Nikki Haley • South Carolina
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Native SCian in West TX

    Note that the GOP has no problem with defamation of our President. moving for completely vile to simplly vile is no real improvement. These are the same idoits who have driven SC into the ground with prejudicial, shortsited policies.

    June 10, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Jack

    What......... Expel every GOP public official who makes a stupid or racist statement... So what do they have left then...

    June 10, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Mike

    As a Republican I totally agree with this move. The Republican party needs to eradicate the bad seed that is within itself.
    It was under Republican leadership that slavery was abolished. We need to bring respectability back to the GOP and once again allow minorities to think that we care about everyone.
    The GOP needs to become more than ever the party of NO. No more bigotry, no more favors to rich friends, no more bowing to special interests, and no more fools like Knotts allowed in the party.
    ALL liberals label the entire GOP as racist when only a small minority of it fit that bill. We need to get rid of those that give the liberals that ammunition.
    Not all cops are bad cops, not all lawyers are bad lawyers, and NO not all Republicans are racist. Just like not all Democrats are Socialists (present leadership exluded).

    June 10, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Peter

    if only they had the balls and actually stood for anything the American people need.....

    June 10, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. balls mcghee

    I think these GOPers should denounce calling Obama a terrorist because they think he is muslim as well. I guess that's okay because it is a Democrat they are talking about.

    June 10, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. Johnathan, WPB

    Good ol' redneck south. Like the GOP, it is the scourge of america.

    It's not like expelling this or that person will do much of anything.

    These types learn to be bigots at the kitchen table, listening to mom and dad. Got a cure for that?

    June 10, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. kimberly

    agreed! plain and simple

    June 10, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Jimmy Bob

    Good ol' boys at it agin! And they think the South will rise again... Ha!

    June 10, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    It's about time someone in that party got fed up with the string of slurs coming from there fellow party members.

    Let's see how far he gets (after all this is South Carolina we are talking about!!!

    June 10, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This guy has no formal education, no college background and was a sherrif, today that job requires a college education, so he has to resort to name calling due to his limited vocabulary. Knotts has been harvesting these kind of bigotry for a long time, he's lost his importance and thinks the "good old boys club" will buy into his bigotry. Sorry Knotts but those days are gone, Americans are educated today and they are better than that. The writing is on the wall, they are distancing themselvs from this bigot as they should.

    June 10, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. Karl in Charleston,SC

    The Firt Amendment ensures FREE SPEACH, even for idiots.

    June 10, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. Kirk1

    Wow!!! Is it not disturbing to the citizens of our great country that he not only called Ms. Haley a "raghead," but he called our President a "raghead" also? I only hear them speaking about Ms. Haley. Why would there be any question about an expulsion!!!

    June 10, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    Greenville County GOP chairman Patrick Haddon, do you really expect the "Good Ole Boy Network" to kick out one of their own because he said what they wanted to say? Your actions and thoughts for the sake of your party are noble but they will fight you tooth and nail to the bitter end before they get rid of one of their own.

    Republicans are becoming Democrats and Independents because of people like him and it is about to destroy the Republican Party and even I, as a Democrat, do not want to see that because we need both parties to run an effective government.

    June 10, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. Jack Simpson

    WOW! A decent republican?? We are in the last days for sure. LOL!

    June 10, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Wanda Kay

    Name calling is so childish. It has got to end!!!! To make such comments shows your mentality.

    June 10, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. nathan

    SC gone wild........................

    June 10, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Ron

    If an Indian-American were the nominee of the Democratic Party and Knotts had made this remark, I can just hear the Republican response.
    "Poor choice of words." "Mr. Knotts mis-spoke, but of course he is not a racist." "Mr. Knotts should apologize and then we should move on." "Let's don't make a mountain out of a mole-hill." etc etc etc. But since he made this remark about a right-wing Republican, they want his hide.

    June 10, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Mickey, NY

    Typical GOP domestic terrorist...hope he has a good retirement fund...

    June 10, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. guy from NM

    Such a fitting politician for this country. Never get tired of the Dark Ages

    June 10, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  20. Joyce Becker

    I am glad that bigoted jerk Republican is gone, has he ever looked at himself in the mirror, he is no prize, too fat and no neck..

    June 10, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. Independent Lady

    LMAO, so the chairman decided to wait until AFTER she won the primary to make this announcement, wonder if he would have made this same decision if she didn't win the primary

    June 10, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. SteveB

    Well, it's good to finally see some republican think his racist comments were wrong and can't be ignored. Too bad every other republican thinks they can be.

    Seriously, the complete and utter silence from all other republicans in this - not ONE SINGLE CONDEMNATION from any of them tells me everything we need to know about the party. And none of it is positive.

    June 10, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. Sandra, Atl

    Expell him for calling this woman a 'raghead' but no mention of his slur to the President of the United States.

    But you obviously don't think that is a problem or racism. What a total hypocrite!

    June 10, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. The Truth, Please...I Just Want The Truth

    I second the motion!

    June 10, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. Jake Knotts. the Smegma of Mankind

    I do have to give credit to this one Republican for standing up to both Wilson and Knotts, better late than never.

    June 10, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |