A former GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Gabriel Gomez, made the incendiary statement in a Facebook comment:
I thank God everyday for people like Chris Pinto and Rob Eno because they serve as perfect examples for my kids of who and what not to be when they grow upā¦ the level of ignorance and intolerance exhibited by them and their small āKlanā are an embarassment to our civil Society. Merry Christmas.
These are the kind of people that you know make the Republican Party hated in Massachusetts ā¦ You know, I donāt have any regrets [about] what I posted. I mean obviously I touched a chord with them because they know Iām right but Iāve obviously had so many people reaching out thanking me for it, because like I said these guys represent less than 21% but theyāre loud and somebody had to make a Ā point of just highlighting that theyāre really nothing but destructive for our party here in Massachusetts.
Gomez denied that he had referred to the Ku Klux Klan and said that any such interpretation is āridiculous.ā He also accused his opponents (presumably including Eno) of twisting his words. Partial transcript:
Interviewer: ā¦I have to ask, suggesting that they are part of the Ku Klux Klan is pretty strong on your part.
Gomez: Well, I, you know, I wasnāt suggesting they are part of the Ku Klux Klan. I meanā¦
Interviewer: Well what was the ākā?
Gomez: Well, I meanĀ you can go ākā or āc.ā Itās basically like [inaudible] friends and family.
Interviewer: The only ākā thing is the Ku Klux Klan. Iām sorry to do this, but it really is true. So do you regret going that far with it?
Gomez: IĀ donāt regret putting the post on there, no. [Inaudible.]
Interviewer: Was, is there a Ā different Klan you were referring to?
Gomez: Obviously, I wasnāt thinking of theĀ Ku Klux Klan. Thatās ridiculous. [Crosstalk.] Ā They can, they can try to twist and try to infer whatever they wantā¦
According to the Merriam-Webster onlineĀ dictionary, āKlanā means āan organization of Ku Kluxers;Ā also:Ā a subordinate unit of such an organization.ā
According to dictionary.com, āKlanā means either ātheĀ Ku Klux Klanā or āaĀ chapterĀ ofĀ theĀ Ku Klux Klan.ā
Rob Eno urged his fellow Republicans to support Gomez back in April, after the GOP primary:
Red Mass Group is calling this race for Gabriel Gomez. Ā With 20% reporting, the next closest candidate Michael Sullivan will not be able to make up the ground. Ā Gomez is winning by over 50% in many towns that have reported 100%.
Congratulations to Gabriel Gomez. It is in now important for GOP activists to rally behind our nominee to defeat Ed. Markey.
Eno later was critical of Gomez on Second Amendment issues:
ā Rob Eno (@Robeno) September 26, 2013
In this tweet, he linked to a post calling Gomez āaĀ soulless, opportunistic Democrat in RINO (Republican In Name Only) clothing who is unworthy of being a member of the GOP in Massachusettsā:
The Bay State GOP's Identity Crisis: Several posts on Gabriel Gomez trend towards a common theme: the man is aā¦ http://t.co/eU2SzdNN6l
ā Rob Eno (@Robeno) September 29, 2013
According to Eno, Pinto āwas a dedicated supporter of Mr. Gomezās during the campaign, spending his time driving around Worcester County to put up signs, and making hundreds of phone calls.ā
* * *
Update: Gomez has posted an apology to his Facebook page.
Iāve always said that leaders should admit when they are wrong. That starts with me.
Over the weekend, I regrettably used inappropriate language to share my disagreement with some with whom I disagree on specific social and policy-related issues.
While attempting to speak out against those who question the commitment of fellow Republicans, I used careless language in charactā¦erizing their views that clouded the point I was trying to make. I was wrong to do so, and I apologize to Rob Eno and to Chris Pinto.
Leaders have a responsibility to share their views in a respectful way. In this instance, as someone who understands the slings and arrows of political life, I failed to live up to the standard of discourse every leader should strive for.