Chimp Emailer Apologizes but Keeps GOP Post

Orange County Republican leader says the rules won't let him fire official who mailed a photo depicting Obama and his parents as chimpanzees.

Marilyn Davenport, the Southern California GOP official who sent an email depicting President Obama and his parents as chimpanzees, has finally issued an apology. But despite calls for her resignation by Republican County Chair Scott Baugh, former state Chair Michael J. Schroeder and a chorus of civil rights activists, Davenport defiantly vowed to remain in office.

“To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen this email I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior,” she wrote. “I say unwise because at the time I received and forwarded the email, I didn’t stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive,” Davenport’s apology read.

Last weekend, Davenport sent out a photo of a chimpanzee family with President Obama’s head superimposed on the baby chimp and the phrase: “Now you know — why no birth certificate.” The email set off an uproar and calls for her resignation, but Davenport defiantly refused, denying that there was a racial implication in the photo. She said that “the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race.”

Baugh told The Root Monday that Davenport cannot be removed from office for her comments. Baugh said that “our hands are tied by the state’s elections codes.” He said, “there are only three grounds for removal [from the committee], but being a racist is not one of them.”

Despite Davenport’s apology, Baugh and Schroeder say that she should step down. “The damage to the Republican Party has been by her, and I still think she should resign,” Schroeder said.