The husband of Republican congressional candidate Karen Handel is in hot water after sharing an image criticizing the Democratic party for taking advantage of African-Americans.
Steve Handel posted the image to his Twitter timeline Tuesday, May 2, in an effort to drum up support for his wife, who’s running to replace former Rep. Tom Price (R) in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. It read that Karen Handel would “fight for minorities to excel,” unlike the Democrats, who her husband blasted for “criticizing Black children for obeying the laws, studying in school and being ambitious, as ‘acting white’ is a trick the party plays on Black people to keep them poor, ignorant and dependent.”
The image went on to read, “Free the Blacks from the Democratic Party plantation.”
The questionable photo was originally shared by user @rose10052 and featured a stock image of a young Black man in a suit, according to CNN, which captured the tweet before it was deleted. Steve Handel later retweeted it, reminding voters to cast their ballots in favor of his wife.
Karen Handel’s campaign has since acknowledged Steve’s “mistake” but hasn’t issued any sort of public apology. It did release a statement addressing the matter, though.
“Like many of us, he, meaning Steve, made a mistake and tweeted something he didn’t pay a lot of attention to, thinking it was just an early vote message,” the Republican candidate’s campaign said. “It clearly was not appropriate and has been deleted.”
Democratic Strategist Tharon Johnson told Atlanta’s CBS46 he thinks the Handels owe the public an apology.
“Is this the type of husband and wife we want to go to Washington to represent the sixth district?” Johnson asked. “I think them not apologizing is a huge mistake. They should not only apologize, but he should come out and talk about why he retweeted such a racist and inflammatory statement like that.”
Critics also took to social media to blast the congressional candidate’s husband for his blatant indiscretion.
Shameful behavior from Georgia @GOP candidate! @karenhandel plays dirty, but not a surprise since GOP often #CHEATS!https://t.co/WYWZjD4LrS
— ʇɹǝqnɥS ɯo⊥🌊#IPledgeToVoteBlueNoMatterWho🌊 (@TomShubert) May 2, 2017
Some BS about "I didn't read it thoroughly." Don't retweet stuff you don't read! #neverkarenhandel #flipthe6th https://t.co/O28oo9EJgH
— freeway1313 (@freeway1313) May 2, 2017
How do you confuse a tweet about freeing Black slaves from Democrats with an absentee vote message? #gapol https://t.co/fQ50UXAevw
— Pallavi (@Pallaweee) May 2, 2017
Steve Handel’s Twitter faux pas likely won’t help his wife in the runoff election against Democrat Jon Ossoff, which is coming up in June. Dems are banking on the opportunity to flip Georgia’s 6th district, which has been GOP-controlled since 1978.
Officials with Karen Handel’s campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.