Racially-tinged Obama joke bombs in Denver | VailDaily.com

Racially-tinged Obama joke bombs in Denver

DENVER, Colorado ” Colorado politicians condemned a racially tinged joke about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama that came during a banquet attended by a U.S. senator, the governor and the mayor of Denver.

Northern Colorado rancher and businessman William R. Farr, one of several speakers at the Wednesday banquet, mentioned the White House and suggested “They’re going to have to change the name” if Obama is elected president.

Gasps and murmuring were heard from the crowd of about 1,000.

Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Gov. Bill Ritter were present.

Salazar called the comment “uncalled-for and atrocious” and Hickenlooper said it was “inappropriate.” Ritter said he gasped.

Farr apologized afterward and said he regretted the comment soon after making it.

“I mistook it to be humorous, but it was something I shouldn’t have said,” he said.

The comment came during a National Western Stock Show dinner honoring the winner of its Citizen of the West award, given each year to someone who embodies “the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer.”

This year’s winner was former Sen. Hank Brown, who will retire soon as president of the University of Colorado.

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