It’s probably for the best that former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel stepped down from his post as state chairman of Giuliani’s presidential campaign last week: getting indicted on cocaine distribution charges can take up a lot of your time — like, say, up to twenty years in federal prison. But Giuliani proved eager to retain his ties to the politically powerful family, quickly appointing Thomas’s father, Arthur Ravenel, Jr., as the South Carolina campaign’s new co-chair.
It turns out that the elder Ravenel, a former state senator and U.S. Congressman, has a nasty habit of his own. While serving in Congress in 1990, he complained that a committee chairman was operating on “black time.” Of course, that comment pales in comparison to his statement at a 2000 statehouse rally ‘round the confederate flag, where he referred to the NAACP as “the National Association of Retarded People,” a phrase he uttered again during a taped interview outside the Senate chamber the following day. Ravenel did indeed apologize later—but only to mentally-handicapped people.
A spokeswoman for the Giuliani campaign declined to comment on Ravenel’s statements — or to formally announce a new strategy to boost his redneck credentials.