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Politician Behind Obama-Chimp Email: It's 'Much To Do About Nothing'

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Apr. 18 2011, Published 5:05 a.m. ET

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By Adam S. Levy Staff Writer

It's the outrageous photo that's fueling a firestorm, yet the California politician behind it is offering only a lukewarm apology!

Republican Marilyn Davenport, a top ranking GOP official who represents Orange County in California's State Assembly, e-mailed a shocking picture of three chimpanzees with President Barack Obama's face superimposed on one of them. The caption: "Now you know why no birth certificate!"

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Davenport told the OC Weekly the e-mail was "just an Internet joke," also asking them: "You're not going to make a big deal about this are you?"

A big deal it's become, and as the story grew, Davenport on Saturday offered up a pseduo-apology, telling the paper: "I'm sorry if my email offended anyone.

"I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth," she told the paper. "In no way did I even consider the fact he's half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race.


"That being said, I will NOT resign my central (Republican) committee position over this matter that the average person knows and agrees is much to do about nothing."

Scott Baugh, the Republican Party of Orange County Chairman, thinks it's time Davenport steps "down from the committee."

"It's just highly inappropriate, it's a despicable message and it drips with racism," Baugh told the AP of the e-mail.

Despite the fact that Obama was born in Hawaii, a movement whose members claim he was born in Africa has surfaced. Being born overseas would have prevented Obama from becoming president. Those people behind the movement, called "birthers," included billionaire would-be presidential candidate Donald Trump.


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