RNC leader rebukes Democrats for comment

May 25, 2004 at 2:03 PM

WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie called on Democrats Tuesday to condemn remarks by U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., comparing the GOP to the Taliban.

Johnson, campaigning in South Dakota on behalf of congressional candidate Stephanie Herseth, made reference to "the Taliban wing" of the Republican party at a campaign rally Saturday. He has refused to apologize while other leading Democrats, including Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., have remained silent.

"We can only assume that Tom Daschle and Stephanie Herseth's silence on this issue means they agree with Senator Johnson," Gillespie said. "If they do not they should repudiate these comments immediately. This kind of political hate speech has no place in our electoral process."

"In a recent speech, Tom Daschle expressed his disappointment over the coarsening of political discourse in this country. (His) refusal to repudiate these reprehensible comments made by a member of his own party are a sign of terrible hypocrisy at best or a striking lack of moral courage at worst."

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