The Republican National Committeeman in Arizona used the phrase "shucking and jiving" on Thursday in a Facebook post intended to mock the Obama administration's decision to delay certain parts of the Affordable Care Act.
Bruce Ash used the phrase in a post that linked to a BuzzFeed story with the headline, "White House Delays Obamacare While Attacking Republicans For Trying To Delay Obamacare."
"Some people wonder why I cannot figure out why I believe Obama is shucking and jiving on ObamaCare," Ash wrote.
"Shucking and jiving" is a slavery-era term that has been used derisively toward African-Americans, including President Barack Obama. Sarah Palin used the phrase last year to criticize Obama's handling of the deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Earlier this month, right-wing shock jock Rush Limbaugh said Obama's plan on Syria should be called "Operation Shuck and Jive."
Local Democrats denounced Ash's comment.
"Bruce Ash should be ashamed of himself," Pima County (Ariz.) Democratic Party Executive Director Shasta McManus told the Tucson Sentinel in an email. "It's so sad that a national committeeman of the 'Party of Lincoln' doesn’t have sufficient sensitivity to grasp the inappropriateness of what he wrote."
Ash told the Sentinel in a phone interview that his post was not racially charged.
"There are plenty of folks who are shuckers and jivers," Ash said. "There is nothing in my lexicon that has racial overtones."