GOP Activist Likens Gorilla to Michelle Obama

By Gorman Gorman

Jun 15, 2009 11:03am

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: A South Carolina Republican activist has learned the perils of social-media sites, with a Facebook posting where he joked that an escaped gorilla was probably related to First Lady Michelle Obama. The activist, a former state senate candidate named Rusty DePass, responded to news of a gorilla breakout at a local zoo by posting to Facebook on Friday: “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless.” (The entry was deleted — along with DePass’ Facebook page — over the weekend. But the South Carolina political blog FITSNews.com captured a screen-grab.) DePass apologized: “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest,” he told a local television station, according to the New York Daily News. But he added: “The comment was hers, not mine,” claiming that the first lady had recently made a remark about humans descending from apes. (It’s not clear what he was referring to.) DePass is a former chairman of the Richland County (S.C.) Republican Party. He was an early supporter of George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000, and of Rudolph Giuliani’s in 2008.

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