Last week, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, backtracked and admitted that he’d made a mistake when he declared April Confederate History Month with a proclamation that made no mention of slavery. The proclamation “contained a major omission,” McDonnell said.
"The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed," McDonnell said in a written statement. The governor also announced that his proclamation would be amended to mention slavery and call it “an evil and inhumane practice.”
Asked about the controversy in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said he didn’t think McDonnell made a mistake in issuing the original proclamation.
Barbour noted that Mississippi’s Democratically-controlled legislature has enacted Confederate Memorial Day, a statewide holiday, and that he and his predecessors in both parties have issued proclamations regarding the holiday.
“I don’t know what you would say about slavery,” Barbour told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, “but anybody who thinks that slavery is a bad thing – I think goes without saying.”
Responding to concerns that McDonnell’s omission of any mention of slavery was insensitive, Barbour said, “To me, it's a sort of feeling that it's a nit. That it is not significant, that it's not a - it's trying to make a big deal out of something doesn't amount to diddly.”