LITTLE ROCK Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is calling the racially charged writings of three Republican House candidates embarrassing but says he doesn’t believe they reflect the views of the state or the GOP.
The Democratic governor said Tuesday that the writings by state Rep. Jon Hubbard, Rep. Loy Mauch and House candidate Charlie Fuqua are sad but don’t represent the state.
Hubbard wrote in a 2009 book that slavery was a “blessing in disguise,” and Fuqua advocated deporting all Muslims in a 2011 book. Mauch called Abraham Lincoln a war criminal and defended slavery in dozens of letters to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
“It’s pretty embarrassing, it’s pretty sad,” Beebe told reporters at the state Capitol on Tuesday morning. “But, you know, you can’t blame a whole state for activities or comments from a few because there’s been a lot of comments by Republicans and Democrats that we wish had never been made and that embarrass us all or detract from how we’re viewed by other folks.”
Fuqua, Hubbard and Mauch did not return calls or e-mails Tuesday morning. Beebe said he hoped voters wouldn’t reward the three in the November election.
“I would hope the people in the rest of the country wouldn’t think that Hubbard or those other people represent what Arkansas really is, because they don’t,” Beebe said.
Republicans have distanced themselves from the writings, and the state party said Monday that it would not contribute any more money to their campaigns. GOP Rep. Tim Griffin has asked the three to donate money he contributed to charity.
The comments have received attention as Republicans aim to win control of the state Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. GOP leaders are confident of the party’s chances and said they don’t believe the writings will hurt their efforts to win control of the state House and Senate.