October 29th, 2013
02:58 PM ET
10 months ago

State lawmaker apologizes for slavery remark, says taken out of context

(CNN) - A state lawmaker in Nevada who came under fire after a YouTube video surfaced in which he told a Republican gathering he would vote to allow slavery if that's what his constituents wanted him to do, says his remarks were taken out of context and that he used an extreme example only to show how much he supports those who voted him into office.

But Nevada state Assemblyman Jim Wheeler added that if his comments "were taken with offense by anyone, I sincerely apologize."

Wheeler immediately came under fire Monday by Democrats and Republicans after the YouTube video from August surfaced. It shows Wheeler making the controversial comments at a Storey County Republican Party meeting.

"If that's what they wanted, I'd have to hold my nose … they'd probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah," Wheeler said in the video, which was taken down from YouTube.

Wheeler has issued a statement explaining his comments.

"The media is having a good time with a clearly facetious statement I made in a town hall meeting earlier this year. They're attempting to spin an extreme example I used about supporting my constituents to accuse me of being racist. Anybody that knows me knows that's absurd, and anyone that views the comments in context understands that the whole point of the example is that racism of any kind is something that I find completely unacceptable."

"During the meeting, I was asked how I would vote if I believed one way on an issue, and my constituents believed the opposite. I stated the truth that I believe, which is that in a Representative Republic I'm hired by the people to represent their views. I used an over the top example of something that I absolutely do not agree with, and even mentioned that to get me to vote for such a thing, my constituents would literally have to hold a gun to my head."

"In reality, that isn't the case at all. If my constituents wanted to do something as outlandish as bring back an abhorrent system, then I simply couldn't represent them anymore. They would remove me from office, or I'd have to resign."

At the end of his statement, Wheeler included an apology.

"If my comments were taken with offense by anyone, I sincerely apologize. I intended the statement as an extreme example of something unacceptable, and hope that's how it's taken," he said.


Filed under: Nevada
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. just saying

    Sniffit
    "Thank you for revealing what we have known all along. Rudy, Sniffit and the whole lot of Democrats.... old school commies! The Democrat Party needs to come out of their commie closest and be honest with the American people about yet who they are and what their goals are. Namely the destruction of this great nation the same way commuinism destroyed the old Soviet Union."
    -–
    Reading books in order to understand things so we don't look like uninformed jackholes who have no idea what they're talking about
    --

    and yet you are still uninformed jack holes spreading lies and misinformation in here on a daily basis. reading means nothing when you filter everything through your far left insanity. you end up with the toxins.

    October 29, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. jinx9to88

    People that like to bring up Benghazi, google "how many embassies attacked under Bush" before you run your mouth. 13 attacked with 50+ people dead. Where was the GOP when this happened? Hypocrite.

    October 29, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I'd bet he smiled real big when got a good applause for that line. Can't see the video, so I don't really know.

    October 29, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. GOP = Greed Over People

    Taken of "out of context", yeah, there were no burning crosses in the background.

    October 29, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Why is it that these repubes make racist comments then think they aren't racist because they tell they were sorry and they didn't mean it??"

    It's called a "dogwhistle." It's meant to convey to the GOP/Teatroll base that he's on their side of the "race war," that he can't stand all the brown people "taking over the country" just like they can't, and that he has nothing but contempt for and resentment towards them just like his GOP/Teatroll constituents do, etc. He then "apologizes" in some disingenuous, smarmy manner that qualifies the apology such that it's not really an apology, and the MSM gives him a free pass. So he basically gets the message across somewhat surreptitiously to the GOP/Teatroll base in a manner that avoids him actually having to say or own and be accountable for what he really means with the rest of the public. Hence, "dogwhistle." It's the same thing they're doing when they yammer about "welfare queens" and "urban folk" and "obamaphones"...it's basically all designed to say the n-bomb without saying the n-bomb.

    October 29, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dude went from this:

    "If that's what they wanted, I'd have to hold my nose … they'd probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah," Wheeler said in the video, which was taken down from YouTube."

    To trying to explain it all away thus:

    "The media is having a good time with a clearly facetious statement I made in a town hall meeting earlier this year. They're attempting to spin an extreme example I used about supporting my constituents to accuse me of being racist. Anybody that knows me knows that's absurd, and anyone that views the comments in context understands that the whole point of the example is that racism of any kind is something that I find completely unacceptable."

    Yeah. Blame the media. And then blame me for being offended.

    Apology Tour 101.

    October 29, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Wes

    jinx9to88

    People that like to bring up Benghazi, google "how many embassies attacked under Bush" before you run your mouth. 13 attacked with 50+ people dead. Where was the GOP when this happened? Hypocrite.
    --------------------------------------
    Google 'how many embassies attacked because of a video' and see what you get.

    October 29, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "and yet you are still uninformed jack holes spreading lies and misinformation in here on a daily basis. reading means nothing when you filter everything through your far left insanity. you end up with the toxins."

    Right. Is that why you've still yet to step to me and win an argument or point out a falsehood and, instead, get hounded by recitations of the facts, statistics, historical record, etc. from persons like myself, Rudy, Data, et al? Go back to reading your astroturfing queue cards and failing to ever capitalize anything in your talking point word salad vomit.

    October 29, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    What I don't understand is why he picked slavery.
    So many other subjects he could have used. The man in the WH is really making the klan absolutely crazy!
    We can be thankful that they are being found out.

    October 29, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Thomas

    just saying , when you filter everything through your far left insanity. you end up with the toxins.

    Did you ever by chance see the movie , Dr Stranglove

    Ann Coulter , take a walk on the wild side !

    October 29, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Just – you are joking right? The T holes wouldn't know the truth or accept the truth. Fox will be in business as long as they have mental midgets who believe their anti American rants.

    October 29, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Wes wrote:

    "People that like to bring up Benghazi, google "how many embassies attacked under Bush" before you run your mouth. 13 attacked with 50+ people dead. Where was the GOP when this happened? Hypocrite."

    Google 'how many embassies attacked because of a video' and see what you get.
    -----------------–
    A lot more than 13.

    "Nice try, but you gotcha self."

    October 29, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Aaaaw, now comes his free pass from the MSM. After all, his unapology was ever so genuine and sincere, right? IOKIYAR

    It's so nice that these red state bigots are able to let the GOP/Teatroll base know that they're on "right side" in the "race war" while the MSM helps them backtrack it with the rest of the public. Best of both worlds...almost as awesome as being able to just drop the n-bomb whenever you want like the good ole days, right GOPers/Teatrolls?

    October 29, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Ann Coulter , take a walk on the wild side !"

    You leave Ann and his madame's apple alone!!!!

    October 29, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    Sniffit
    "Thank you for revealing what we have known all along. Rudy, Sniffit and the whole lot of Democrats.... old school commies! The Democrat Party needs to come out of their commie closest and be honest with the American people about yet who they are and what their goals are. Namely the destruction of this great nation the same way commuinism destroyed the old Soviet Union."
    -–
    Reading books in order to understand things so we don't look like uninformed jackholes who have no idea what they're talking about
    -

    and yet you are still uninformed jack holes spreading lies and misinformation in here on a daily basis. reading means nothing when you filter everything through your far left insanity. you end up with the toxins.
    ***************
    Toxins are what uninformed jackholes cling to as their "truth". The truth is that the people who scream loudest and longest about freedom don't have a clue as to what freedom actually entails. It does NOT mean you get to opt out, it does not mean you get to game the system so no one else has the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way, and it does not mean you get to prevent other members of society from particpating simply because you are afraid the outcome might not be in your favor. Which party is going to great lengths to limit or suppress particpation in our democracy because they are terrified of others enjoying what they have always taken for granted? You WANT people to be lulled into complacency and apathy because that is what gives you your strength. Is it freedom? Nope, its servitude, an oligarchy like the ones south of the border. Keep convincing yourselves that your viewpoint trumps facts and reality, if it gives you comfort. No one is forcing you to live in Bizarro World.

    October 29, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Data Driven

    @just,

    "You end up with the toxins"

    I dunno, seems to me that conservative political figures are the ones who are toxic. We're getting up to a racist a week now: last week it was the NC guy calling blacks lazy and admitting the whole voter-fraud thing was a ploy to make it harder for Dems to vote. This week, it's Mr. Slavery.

    But then, I doubt that you find any of this very offensive, anyway. Your posts are usually full of name-calling with little to no factual content backing it up.

    October 29, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    What we are seeing are the true bigots coming out of the Kloset.

    October 29, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. jinx9to88

    @ Wes

    Typical hypocrite!! Embassies get attacked no matter who is in the office but you GOP/Tea Trolls think it only started under Obama. 1 embassy to 13 embassies attacked, that sounds about even according to your math. LMAO!! You must be using the Fox calculator, do you still think Romney is gonna win 2012 elections. Come out of the Fox bubble the weather is nice.

    October 29, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Dave Jaipersaud

    Why is it that only Republicans (mainly from the South) make these types of comments and then they blame it on people taking it out of context when they get caught? Make you go hmmm!

    October 29, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Peoples State of Illinois

    “Noeconhater asks his mom, ‘Mama, what’s a democracy?’

    “‘Well, son, that be when white folk work every day so us po’ folks can get all our benefits.’

    “‘But mama, don’t the white folk get mad about that?’

    “‘They sho do, son. They sho do. And that’s called racism.’”

    October 29, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Ol' Yeller

    "Namely the destruction of this great nation the same way commuinism destroyed the old Soviet Union."

    I thought the talking point was that Reagan brought down the Communist regime with his cold war stratergy of outbombbuildingthem?
    Oh Well, @just sayin'... if the hood fits, wear it.

    October 29, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. More Noise???

    HEY! Hi Everyone!! Just wondering, how is that Obamacare rollout out going? More disasters coming to light every day. Must be time to drum up the left wing propaganda machine with articles like this right? Wouldn't want that Obamacare nightmare to get into the MSM would we?

    I can hardly wait until we start seeing everybody's personal information all over the web. Good job Democrats! Yeah, we're all going to trust you with more.... because we are complete idiots that reward total failure.

    October 29, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Assembyman Wheeler is a perfect example of why rebranding of the Republican Party will take many years.

    October 29, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. sifto

    took a lot of searching for cnn to find this obscure person and build up a comment to make it sound real..try as they may–they will never divert from the healthcare disaster...

    October 29, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    " last week it was the NC guy calling blacks lazy and admitting the whole voter-fraud thing was a ploy to make it harder for Dems to vote."

    I think the best part of that whole thing was that he then went on to drop the n-bomb while trying to defend himself. There isn't enough facepalm in the universe for these bigot morons.

    October 29, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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