MILWAUKEE — Republican Senate candidate Tommy Thompson‘s campaign says his son has apologized for suggesting that voters should send President Barack Obama back to Kenya.
Jason Thompson, the son of the former Wisconsin governor, was caught on camera during a Sunday brunch hosted by the Kenosha County Republican Party.
“We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago — or Kenya,” said Jason Thompson, an attorney at a large Milwaukee law firm. The comment drew laughs from the crowd, with one woman joking, “We are taking donations for that Kenya trip.”
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The video was taken by a Democratic Party operative and posted at BuzzFeed Politics on Sunday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
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Obama’s father was Kenyan, but the president was born in Hawaii.
Jason Thompson, 38, has been involved in his father’s efforts to win a Senate seat and has represented the candidate at some events.
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“The governor has addressed this with his son, just like any father would do,” the campaign said in a statement. “Jason Thompson said something he should not have, and he apologizes.”
Michael Best & Friedrich, the firm where Jason Thompson works, issued a statement Monday distancing it from the comments, calling them “regrettable.”
“Jason has apologized for the comment through the campaign (and to his colleagues at the law firm) and the matter is being dealt with between father and son,” the statement said.
Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin is running against Thompson. Her campaign’s spokesman, John Kraus, said Monday that the Thompson campaign is becoming increasingly desperate and dishonest.
The candidate himself “has not apologized for these comments, nor has he disavowed them,” Kraus wrote. “Thompson needs to start taking responsibility for what his campaign says and does.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Brad Courtney also spoke at the Kenosha event.
Priebus issued a statement Monday, saying he agreed with the elder Thompson. “The comment was out of line and his son rightfully apologized,” he said.