Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has come to the defense of his political rival, calling for the resignation of the New Hampshire police commissioner who loudly called President Obama “that f***g n***r” in a crowded restaurant and then refused to apologize for it.
Romney owns a home in the New Hampshire town of Wolfeboro, where 82-year-old Robert Copeland is an elected member of the three-person police commission that oversees the police department.
“The vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community: He should apologize and resign,” Romney said in a statement.
Last week, residents packed a town meeting and angrily called for Copeland to resign from his post, but he sat defiantly with his arms crossed.
The brouhaha developed when Jane O’Toole, who moved to the town just four months ago, overheard Copeland use the slur at a restaurant in March.
“It’s not like I was eavesdropping. Mr. Copeland was being very loud,” O’Toole told television station WMUR.
In response, O’Toole wrote to the town manager about the incident, which prompted Copeland to write a letter to O’Toole acknowledging he used the word.
“I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse (sic),” Copeland wrote. “For this, I do not apologize—he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”
The TV station also reported that Copeland acknowledged in an email to his fellow police commissioners that he used the racial slur to describe Obama.
“Comments like these, especially coming from a public official, are not only inexcusable but also terribly, unfortunately, reflects poorly on our town,” said O’Toole, who was met with resounding applause during the town meeting.
When no action was taken at the town meeting, many of them followed Copeland outside.
“I admitted what I did. I made no bone about it,” Copeland said to those who followed him as he walked to his car.
There are about 20 Black residents in the town of Wolfeboro, which is located in the scenic Lakes Region in the central part of New Hampshire and has a population of 6,300.