Rex Rammell, a long-shot in the 2010 Idaho governor's race, made a joke about hunting President Obama at an event Tuesday night.
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Rammell was speaking to a local Republican group about the state's wolf hunt, for which hunters must pay for "wolf tags." An audience member shouted out a question about "Obama tags."
"Obama tags? We'd buy some of those," Rammell responded.
Rammell said he won't apologize for the comments, but insists he was just joking.
(Late update: Rammell tweeted today about the controversy. "Obama hunting tags was just a joke! Everyone knows Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue tags in Washington D.C.," he wrote.)
The Idaho Democratic Party, of course, is up in arms, and a spokesman for the Idaho Republican Party released a statement that the party "does not condone Rex Rammell's comments, whether in jest or not."
But at least one local Republican defended Rammell.
"It's kind of the bad joke that you laugh at and then move on from. Nobody was going to dwell on it, that's for damn sure," said Terry Kramer, a Republican Twin Falls county commissioner. "It's being blown out of proportion; it was just a one-liner out of the audience."
Rammell later used an interview about the joke to attack Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for not buying the first wolf tag, as he had said he would earlier in the year. When the tags became available, on Monday, the governor was speaking at the funeral of Bruce Sweeney, a 10-term state legislator who served while Otter was lieutenant governor.
"That's a lame excuse," Rammell said.