JACKSON, Miss. – The chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus says Former Governor Haley Barbour’s use of the term “tar babies” to describe President Obama’s policies was not raciest.
“The truth of the matter is that any policy considered controversial is a political tar baby,” said state Senator Kenny Wayne Jones, D- Canton, in a written statement. “Religious freedom, for example, is a political tar baby for Mississippi because when you touch it, you get stuck; and the more you struggle with it, the more entangled you get,” Jones added.
Barbour used the term while on a conference call with over 100 of his lobbying firm’s clients after last week’s elections.
Jones said while Barbour could have selected a more appropriate word, he feels the former Governor’s use of the term “tar babies” was misinterpreted. “… Barbour’s statement was simply partisan rhetoric that any politically astute person is entitled to use,” he wrote. “The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus will fight for those who lack an adequate voice, but we won’t attack a native Mississippian – Republican or Democratic – to appease those who would label Mississippians as a backwards state.”
Barbour did apologize saying if anyone took offense, “I regret it.”