Flake apologizes for son's 'unacceptable' behavior
June 12th, 2013
06:36 PM ET
7 years ago

Flake apologizes for son's 'unacceptable' behavior

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona apologized Wednesday for his son's use of racial epithets, homophobic slurs and anti-Semitic remarks in social media.

"I'm very disappointed in my teenage son's words, and I sincerely apologize for the insensitivity," the first-term senator, who was elected last year, said in a statement. "This language is unacceptable, anywhere. Needless to say, I've already spoken with him about this, he has apologized, and I apologize as well."

BuzzFeed reported earlier in the day that Flake's high school-aged son Tanner used the controversial terms on Twitter and as a username for online games.

Tanner has since made his Twitter account private, but BuzzFeed took screen-grabs of some of his controversial tweets.

Flake and his two of his sons, including Tanner, made headlines last week after posting video from their recent survivalist expedition on a deserted island in the Pacific.

- CNN's Ted Barrett and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Jeff Flake • Senate
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. king

    hey the son is just repeating the words that are restlessly slings around the flake household. hey you should be apologizing for being such a bigot!!1

    June 12, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. avlisk

    Remember, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Sen. Flake has already shown us who he is, so, to have this come from another member of his family isn't surprising. We can't take his "apology" seriously, because he's proven that the truth is a moving target for him. (Pun intended.)

    June 12, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. ge

    like father like son,chip of the old block

    June 12, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Larry in Houston

    ""Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona apologized Wednesday for his son's use of racial epithets, homophobic slurs and anti-Semitic remarks in social media""

    wonder why a "republican's son" has this problem ? ever wonder why ? lol well, hate to be a bearer of bad tidings, but don't you "think" a little bit of it came from the kid's Parents ?

    LOL – when 2016 rolls around, the Voters in this country isn't going to forget – certainly the voters aren't going to forget that the republicans want to put this country in a backward motion – I guess when they watched the movie "42" w/ Jackie Robinson, guess they (the repubs) must think we're still in the 40's & 50's – They had better put someone like Bob McDonnell / Huntsman / or Charlie Criss / if they have even a sliver of a chance of winning in 2016. I mean, they may take the 2014 mid-terms, but the national presidential election, they've lost it, and to be perfectly honest, I don't believe they will get back the presidency, till 2024. AND, if Christy really wants to be a "contender" in addition to getting more votes, he'd better be changing his politics to "Independent" like the mayor of N.Y.

    June 12, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. AZ Girl

    Gee Jeff, shouldn't your SON be apologizing? Better yet, as one of your constituents, send him down to do volunteer work at a excellent community outreach program in our OWN backyard of Tempe, Tumbleweeds Homeless teen outreach program. The kids there can teach him a thing or two about acceptance, achieving, overcoming, and working together instead of thinking calling people names is cool. Could teach him a little about real life as a teenager than playing survivor on a deserted island!

    June 12, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. don in albuquerque

    And we are all soooooooooo certain he is heart broken about it. You bet.

    June 12, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. rs

    It is too easy to just say this is a Republican problem, and potentially unfair. However between Flake's son's indiscretion, and for another Arizona Legislator Trent Franks uninformed comments on rape and pregnancy (much like Akin's late last year and Murdoch's not too much later) shows that as a party, the Arizona GOP is still homophobic and anti-woman. Frank's comments are especially indefensible inasmuch as Akin was a clear sign that uniformed and frankly stupid commentary about rape is clearly not acceptable to most Americans. I mean really- even IF "scientific" data proved women "rarely" get pregnant when raped (only the Nazis played with that research), does that justify withholding abortion from those women? Just sick, and stupid.

    June 12, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. Blinded by the republican lie

    Well, if he put out his real feelings...Where did you think it came from???? Apologies don't stop the fact what was said ...It is already on social media and cannot be taken back.

    June 12, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. wmontanye

    You know what they say, the apple doesn't fall from from the tree. Just look at this kids tweets. Very sad.....

    June 12, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. lasparky11

    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. You can bet daddy taught him!

    June 12, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Too bad they didn't stay in that island....

    June 12, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein

    It begs the question of where did he get these ideas. Was it his friends or family?

    June 12, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  13. BBunsen

    Wonder where Senator Flake's son learned those racial epithets, homophobic slurs and anti-Semitic remarks. Surely couldn't have been at home.

    June 12, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  14. Chris

    Learned and tolerated at home no doubt.

    June 12, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  15. NameGoose

    Tanner has the right to say how he feels about things. No need for any one to apologize.

    June 12, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Father like son !

    Parent of the year .

    June 12, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  17. Matt Houston

    Where do you think he learned these things?

    June 12, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Alan

    We all know he learned that at home.

    June 12, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  19. femi

    Train up a child.....

    June 12, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  20. Gary

    What do you expect? Republican, Arizona. Who's your Daddy?

    June 12, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  21. Rob

    Wow. And just where is such behavior learned? I wonder. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say. Figures they're from Arizona. Arizona makes the deep south look downright classy. I hope this kid gets the living you know what kicked out of him.

    June 12, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  22. rob

    No surprise here. Bigots usually learn their hate-mongering at home, and Jeff Flake is a well known bigot, so it makes sense he would teach his hate to his children. That is why the government should take bigots' children away from them.

    June 12, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  23. dj

    It doesn't matter which party and It happens in the best of homes. Social media and peer pressure add to the problem. The internet can be used for good and evil purposes. Hopefully this young man has learned a lesson from this.

    June 12, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  24. Jinx9to88

    Yep another seat the Dems will be picking up the next go around.

    June 12, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  25. Rico Amero

    He learned it at home.

    June 12, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
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