October 29th, 2013
02:58 PM ET
11 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. Malory Archer

    You said it; you meant it, so take your non-apology and crawl back under that slimy rock.

    October 29, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    Ah, where's that Tom L, who says there are no conservative racists? Hello, Tom? Bueller?

    Anyway, I love the non apology at the end: "If my comments were taken with offense by anyone, I sincerely apologize." It's never, "I said the wrong thing" with these guys, is it?

    October 29, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    The party of we can't learn anything because we are too darn stupid and this is truly what we believe to quote another airhead from LA.

    October 29, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Obviously under the influence of Ted, the 24 billion dallar man, CRUZs world record losses for a 16 day period . The cowboy hat proves it. Vote dem and get rid of these GOP teaparty slugs!!!!!!

    October 29, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. O'drama ya Mama

    keep up that re-branding effort

    October 29, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    I think all GOP idiot tea slugs should be put into slavery just for me!!!!!

    October 29, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    This is just getting beyond stupid and disgusting. This guy, and all who have made similar statements pretend
    they are "sorry", but they aren't. They know what they say and they mean to say it. It happens all too often
    now.
    Standard comments when caught: "Sorry if I offended anyone"...."taken out of context".........."misunderstood"
    Liars, all of them.
    They are sorry they got caught, and will be more careful next time. You can bet it will happen again and again.
    Respect, compassion and thoughtfulness are words not in their vocabulary.
    Hope they don't expect any respect from me, anyway. It isn't going to happen.

    October 29, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. rs

    That comment will certainly draw people back to the GOP- Not!
    Ever hear of doing what is right Mr. Wheeler? In what world would bringing back SLAVERY be the right thing to do?

    October 29, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It

    1- Obamacare flops

    2- Leaks about NSA surveillance has our allies screaming at us

    3-A scathing 60 Minutes story on Sunday night about Benghazi

    Geez, I thought I had problems. If I had to go to work knowing I had to deal with all of that, I might not get out of bed.

    October 29, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. AZ Girl

    Reminds me of my mom & dad's quote of "If your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it?"

    October 29, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    FastEddie

    Reid has sponored mnay bills, such as his Bullet-Train necessity from Los Angeles to Vegas for $8 Billion; for those of you mathematically challenged that is a lot of zero's.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Still only a third of the cost of the rethug/teabag toddler 16-day temper tantrum. At least in Harry's case, the taxpayers got something for their $8 billion.

    October 29, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Aside from a malfunctioning filter, this guy should be off the hook for everything except stupidity. At least he recognises it, unlike the precinct leader in NC who was unapologetic about his thoughtless comments on " The Daily Show".

    October 29, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Oh, and PS: "The media made me say it"

    October 29, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Ol' Yeller

    It appears the guy did in fact use an extreme example to make a point. Maybe not so smart, but not so racist either. His excuse wasn't the typical rascist's either... "My best friend is Black". His apology was much more sincere than the guy from John Stewart (who was w/o any doubt a HUGE racist). I hate that racism keeps coming up, because it is always followed by the racists's denying their racism and then resorting to projection (a common republican tactic... "The Democrats shut the government down.")
    People just need to remember that African Americans just got the right to vote within the last 50 years. This caused a huge split the Democratic Party with the racists leaving the Dems. They didn't leave the country though, they just joined another party. I can't really remember which one, but it starts with an R or a T...
    Racism exists and it exists everyday for Black Folks. If you don't see it, it is either because you live a very sheltered life, you are blind, or you are in denial (and you are a racist).

    October 29, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. smith

    This is someone who totally lacks common sense. Using slavery to cite as an example of your promise to your voters shows poor judgement, ethics, and understanding.

    October 29, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Mark in Seattle

    Wonder how often he uses the term "Boy".

    October 29, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    "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."
    --------
    Admirable goal... STUPID STUPID STUPID (and offensive) choice of words there, Tex.

    October 29, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Arun

    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?? Look, the reason most tea party folks don't like Obama is because the color of his ski, nothing else. Everything Obama is an advocate for is what these morons believed in when it was a different prez, WHAT GIVES!!

    October 29, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    "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.
    -------------------–
    Why is it that conservatives always prefix and qualify an apology with the disclaimer, "If anyone was offended by my ....."? I can tell you why. It's because they don't find whatever transgression they've committed offensive. You see the problem is the use of the word, "IF."

    f course, people found it offensive. If no one found your transgression offensive, then you wouldn't be making a half-hearted apology. Can you imagine how a trial judge would react to a defendant offering up that sort of apology during his sentencing? The judge would throw the book at the the defendant. IF. You should at least show enough remorse that you find your own actions offensive.

    October 29, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. PaulCat

    Yea, yea, yea.

    Of course you did!

    Who wants to buy ocean front property in Kansas?

    October 29, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. Thomas

    @President Messiah Darkness / Jim Wheeler 2016
    Loook America, if I hadn't delayed the employer mandate, the economy would have been shedding jobs left and right. Millions of people being shifted to jobs of less than 30 hours. Now I get to delay that beyond the next election to further decieve you and hide the full pain and suffering Obamacare will bring.

    Please stop fighting my fundamental transformation of America. I know what is best for you and your family. Part jobs, no job and expensive healthcare where *I* decide what you must pay for. And if you love Obamacare as I know you all will, just wait until I jam immigration "reform" and my green agenda down your throats. So remember, vote for those Democrats in 2014 and 2016 because without them, I won't be able to force more of this down your throats.

    ===

    Thank you , To think I was only worried about the fluoride in the water !

    October 29, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    yeah, it's always out "out of context" when they get caught.

    October 29, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. mikeb

    He sounds like a Texas governor candidate , a number of years ago . When asked about rape in relation to abortion , Clayton Williams said he was against rape , but if it happened , the woman should just relax and enjoy it . He lost in a landslide .

    October 29, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Lolo

    Yes they are coming out of the woodwork. Since the black man was elected twice, the GOP/TP Klan is twice as crazy.Now watch starting January the are going to have a meeting and tell their cronies to be careful of what you say so that we can fool the voters and win. I think not. Anyone with a brain knows exactly what time it is. JUst go vote people. We can do it. We can shut these flakes down.

    October 29, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Typical republican behavior: Say what you mean, when the outrage hits the fan, recant what you said and sincerely apologize. Hogwash!

    October 29, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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