WASHINGTON â Questions from the media prompted Republican John McCain to cancel a fundraiser at the home of a Texas oilman who once joked that women should give in while being raped.
The Texan, Republican Clayton “Claytie” Williams, made the joke during his failed 1990 campaign for governor against Democrat Ann Richards. Williams compared rape to the weather, saying, “As long as it’s inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.” He also compared Richards to the cattle on his ranch, saying he would “head her and hoof her and drag her through the dirt.”
Williams’ comments made national news at the time and remain easy to find on the Internet. Even so, McCain’s campaign said it hadn’t known about the remarks.
“These were obviously incredibly offensive remarks that the campaign was unaware of at the time it was scheduled,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said. “It’s positive that he did apologize at the time, but the comments are nonetheless offensive.”
The campaign said it would not return money Williams had raised for McCain because the contributions came from other individuals supporting McCain and not from Williams. Williams told his hometown newspaper, the Midland Reporter-Telegram, that he had raised more than $300,000 for McCain.
Democrats said McCain should give back the money.
“Senator McCain’s claim of ignorance is no excuse for refusing to do the right thing now. Offensive, disgusting comments like these cannot be tolerated,” Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney said.