Pop Culture

'Daily Show' interview leads to GOP official resigning over 'offensive' remarks

A Republican precinct chairman in North Carolina has resigned one day after an interview he gave to "The Daily Show" aired.

Don Yelton spoke with the Comedy Central show's Aasif Mandvi in a discussion that aired Wednesday, in which he defended his state's voter ID law and referred to "lazy blacks that wants the government to give them everything." He said the law was not racist, but said that he's "been called a bigot before."

Buncombe County, N.C., GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell told WRAL.com that Yelton's statements were "offensive, uninformed and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party."

Mitchell said in a press release, "Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton's comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon. This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party."

Flexible Video WidgetYelton resigned on Thursday, but was unrepentant in an interview with the Asheville, N.C., Citizen-Times. "There's nothing I said that I would take back. So be it," he said.

He also claimed that the interview was edited from a two-hour discussion, and that the quotes were "cut and pasted" together by a show he already believed leaned to the political left. 

"I knew going in what was going to happen, and nothing happened that I was surprised at," said Yelton. "If you and I disagree and we never communicate, are we ever going to accomplish anything?"

Halfway through the clip, Mandvi eyeballs the camera as he waits for Yelton to finish one sentence, in which he says, "One of my best friends is ... black." That leads into a montage of racially charged quotes from Yelton and concludes with Mandvi asking, "You know that we can hear you, right?"

Mitchell's release said that Yelton had clashed with local members of his party before, and was removed from his position in 2012, but was re-elected by two votes: His own and his wife's. The statement also said that Yelton had not sought nor received approval to speak on behalf of the GOP in the interview.