INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Republican congressional candidate in Indianapolis said his campaign manager resigned after making disparaging comments about gays, Muslims and others on a social networking site.
GOP candidate and Butler University professor Marvin Scott said Tuesday that he knew Stan Solomon had controversial ideas because he once hosted a radio talk show, but he said he didn't know Solomon was making such offensive comments on Twitter.
"I didn't know anything about it," said Scott, an underdog in the race against Democrat Rep. Andre Carson in the heavily Democratic 7th District. "I don't know Twitter from litter."
Scott said he disapproves of Solomon's comments and said Solomon was an unpaid volunteer. Scott, who won the May primary but was not the candidate supported by the local Republican Party, said he would be able to better vet his staff if his low-budget campaign had more money.
"I never would have suspected," Scott told The Associated Press. "I can be fooled. I'm a human."
"When you have volunteers, they come with all different axes to grind."
Solomon's recent tweets include "Gay stands for Got AIDS Yet," ''Islam is the enemy you fools" and "Time to hurt these anti war sickos." He also used the N-word (both Carson and Scott are black), called Carson a radical Muslim socialist, said Islam is evil and disgusting and said it was time to burn and "nuke" the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
Solomon declined to comment to The Associated Press Tuesday.
Solomon's comments became an issue after The Bilerico Project, a blog focusing on gay issues, reported the tweets Monday and called on Scott to fire Solomon. The Indiana Stonewall Democrats also called for Scott to end his relationship with Solomon, saying they were "dismayed at the horribly xenophobic and homophobic comments."
"As part of a minority group constantly attacked by far-right groups, we stand in solidarity with Congressman Carson's respect for diversity," said Lori Morris, president of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats.
Scott said he does not support gay marriage on moral grounds but does not defile gay people.
"Gays have been here when I was born and they're going to be here after I'm gone," he said.
Supporters of Carson — one of two Muslims in Congress — have previously criticized Scott and his supporters for sending anti-Muslim messages. Scott's website says he would fight Muslim extremism and that Islam "advocates the eventual elimination of all Christians and Jews."
Carson campaign manager Matt Hammond said Carson has been and will remain a champion for civil rights.
"Once again, the Scott campaign has gone out of its way to insult the people of Indianapolis through thoughtless and prejudiced speech," Hammond said. "Although his campaign manager has resigned, we are far from confident that this will raise the level of respect and thoughtful dialogue coming from his campaign."
Scott was the Republican challenger to Sen. Evan Bayh in 2004 and has lost previous congressional campaigns. He defeated Carlos May, a former aide to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard who had been endorsed by the Marion County Republican Party, in the May primary.
Carson had $381,000 on hand through June 30, according to federal campaign finance reports, while Scott had just $1,800 on hand.
Carson is seeking his second full term to the seat once held by his late grandmother, Julia Carson. The district covers most of Indianapolis and is heavily Democratic.