Minnesota's Republican U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley is facing questions over a Facebook post she made in 2009 that mentions former First Lady Michelle Obama in the same sentence as a "chimp."
The Facebook comment has been seized upon by the Huffington Post, which published a story about it on Monday morning.
The 9-year-old post saw Housley criticize Michelle Obama's posture when she met Queen Elizabeth II, at one point saying the "chimp" from a 1951 movie starring former President Ronald Reagan "stood up straighter than Michelle."
"Uh-oh, someone is going to make a comment," she then adds.
The HuffPo argues that referencing black people in the same context as apes "has been a longstanding feature of racist American innuendo," noting that ABC canceled "Roseanne" after Roseanne Barr retweeted a post that said a former Obama adviser "looked like the child of ... planet of the apes."
But in a statement to BMTN on Monday, a spokesman for Housley – who is facing Democratic Sen. Tina Smith in the U.S. Senate election this November – described the post as "out-of-context" and said the Smith campaign is using it to "manufacture outrage."
"It’s not surprising Tina Smith’s campaign is using an out-of-context Facebook post from ten years ago to manufacture outrage," Jake Schneider said.
"This is what the radical left does when they are losing – they attack Republicans so they don’t have to come up with solutions to the problems Minnesotans are facing."
Rather than losing, recent polls have Smith significantly ahead of Housley, by an average of 9.7 points according to Real Clear Politics.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota DFL said Housley's election this November would make the partisan discourse in Washington D.C. "feel meaner than it already is."
"Minnesotans expect their leaders to demonstrate a basic level of maturity and respect for the office they seek and the people they hope to represent," said DFL senior adviser Charlene Briner. "Karin Housley's Facebook history shows she lacks both."
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Correction: An earlier version of this story attributed a quote to Karin Housley, when it actually came from her spokesperson, Jake Schneider. We apologize for the error.