Kinder apologizes for suggestion Democrats like 'dumb animals'

Friday, August 17, 2007

SEDALIA, Mo. -- Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder apologized Thursday for suggesting Democrats are like "dumb animals" -- a partisan jab that he said ran contrary to his role as Missouri's No. 2 executive.

Kinder's original remarks, made Wednesday night to a gathering of Pettis County Republicans, caused a bit of a stir as hundreds of Democrats and Republicans mingled with each other Thursday at the Missouri State Fair's generally cordial political ham breakfast.

The Sedalia Democrat reported Thursday that Kinder had criticized Democrats by saying they "are like dumb animals that forget nothing and learn nothing."

"They want to take us back to the old days -- back to what ran us into the financial ditch," Kinder was quoted in the newspaper as telling Republicans.

Democratic Rep. Sam Page, of Creve Coeur, who is running for lieutenant governor, expressed surprise about Kinder's statement while shaking hands at the ham breakfast.

"That's an unusually partisan comment," Page said. "I don't think most Democrats and Republicans would agree with such a partisan statement."

Kinder apologized Thursday for his "strongly partisan remark" and assured he is committed to working with Democrats, Republicans and independents alike.

"While it may be unusual for a politician to apologize for making partisan remarks at a party function, I feel obligated to make an unqualified apology," Kinder said in a written statement. "I believe my role as lieutenant governor should be to embrace leaders of both parties to solve the critical problems facing Missouri. I do not want my statement to hinder that cooperation."

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