The Republican congressional candidate who said Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson is the "Rosa Parks of our generation" is now saying he was not making a "literal comparison" and that it wasn't about skin color.
The statement follows the candidate, Ian Bayne, who is running in the GOP primary against Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), saying that Robertson was really making a defense against the persecution of Christians.
"We are a Christian nation based upon the foundation of free will and individualism," Bayne said in the new press release on Monday. "People know this, and those who have come here from other countries to practice a religion other than Christianity, know and desire this as well. The comparison between Parks and Robertson is based on the recent persecution of Christians, and not in skin color or literal comparison."
Bayne previously told TPM that that he thought comparing Robertson to Parks was complimentary to Parks.
"To me, not knowing him, it is clear that he wanted to expose the, what I call, persecution of people who are open Christians. What better way to do it than in an open interview not on your television show so A&E can't argue some breach of contract," Bayne told TPM. "So having seen that I believe and I thought it was complimentary to Rosa Parks because I see Rosa Parks as a courageous person that stood up in the face of a system that was bad and said hey, enough is enough."
Bayne's comments followed an interview Robertson did with GQ where the Duck Dynasty star said that he did not believe African-Americans were mistreated during the Jim Crow era in the United States. Robertson said "not once" did he see blacks receiving mistreatment.
"Where we lived was all farmers," Robertson said in the interview. "The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. "
Photo credit: Ian Bayne for Congress.
This post was updated.