The apology came after Green Mountain Daily reported Sunday that the Rutland County GOP had posted the joke on their Facebook page, generating a series of negative comments. The post and comments have since been removed from the page. The post read:
Just wanted to let you know -- today I received my 2012 Social Security Stimulus Package. It contained two tomato seeds, cornbread mix, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my butt, 2 discount coupons to KFC, an "Obama Hope & Change" bumper sticker, and a "Blame it on Bush" poster for the front yard. The directions were in Spanish. Watch for yours soon.
Green Mountain Daily also posted three comments that the Rutland County GOP had posted on the original Facebook post in response to comments opposing the joke -- which has been circulated on the internet. In one, the county GOP said "comedy is usually based in reality .... call it racist if you must ..... not too far off from the truth." The author of the comments for the Republican Party is not identified.
In a statement posted Monday, county Republican Chairman Rob Towle apologized for the Facebook post, saying that the party had not written the original post and was trying to showcase frustration with the economy:
I totally regret that some members of the Democratic party were offended by the satirical post on this page yesterday. There were some that commented on the post that they did not see how the possibly inflammatory comments were anything other political commentary. This page is not the original author and the intent was to show the author's frustration at the current economic situation that he/she finds themselves in.
I realize now that there are those that were deeply offended and for that I am very saddened and I will make sure that our editoral process will result in posts to our pages that reflect the spirit of good natured political discussions. My hope is that we can get back to the critical dialog necessary to move Vermont and the US back towards economic prosperity.
Vermont Democratic Party Chairman Jake Perkinson described the post as "appalling" and demanded an apology from state Republicans. Perkinson also compared the incident to last week's comments by Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) at a fundraiser for Vermont Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock where he compared the IRS's role under the Affordable Care Act to the Nazi Gestapo.