FULLERTON (CBS/AP) — A Southern California GOP official who sent an email depicting President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee said Wednesday she considered the email political satire and not racist.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports that Marilyn Davenport said she had no racist intent when she forwarded a picture depicting Obama as a chimpanzee.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Davenport reiterated that she will not resign from her elected post on the Republican Party’s Orange County Central Committee.

marilyn davenport1 Sender Of Offensive Obama Email Calls It Satire

(credit: CBS)

“I feel that it was inappropriate and I offended people,” she told reporters outside her home. “I think it’s only racist when the intent in my heart is to make it that way, and that was not the intent in my heart.”

The local GOP chairman has called for Davenport’s resignation and opened an ethics inquiry.

Davenport, 74, issued a written apology Monday but refused to resign.

The email sent late last week showed Obama’s face superimposed on a photo of a baby chimp with two adult chimps in a family photo pose.

Text beneath the picture read, “Now you know why no birth certificate.”

“To the president I would say obviously it was inappropriate and I would not do that again,” Davenport said. “It struck me as political satire.”

Davenport said she found the email to be relevant because of questions surrounding Obama’s birth.

So-called “birthers” claim Obama is ineligible to be president because there’s no proof he was born in the United States. Hawaii officials, however, have certified Obama was born in that state.

“My position would be I am concerned, knowing what the responsibility is of a president,” Davenport said. “I guess we should know his origin, shouldn’t we? … I guess I wonder why he doesn’t tell us.”

Davenport represents the 72nd Assembly District in Orange County on the committee, which is made up of volunteer officials elected for two-year terms. The group is tasked with fundraising, campaigning and debating policy for the Republican Party.

Davenport said constituents are asking her not to resign, and the feelings of those outside the 72nd Assembly District don’t matter.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (113)
  1. Truther says:

    If the Republicans want to have a chance of the Presidency in 2012 they need to rid themselves of these birther kooks.

    1. Ray Murray says:

      I read this report on Comcast.net – and find her additional statement as bad as the photo – “My position would be I am concerned, knowing what the responsibility is of a president.” Davenport said. “I guess we should know his origin, shouldn’t we?…I guess I wonder why he doesn’t tell us.”

      But he has been telling us – as has the State of Hawaii. If she doesn’t want to accept that, does she demand a video copy of his birth with indications of place and date? Her statements clearly show why this level of awareness in a person makes them totally wrong for any leadership position – or it indicates the level welcome in her local area of the California GOP – or in Donald Trump’s office.

      Even Michelle Bachmann here in Minnesota doesn’t publicly say this level of opinion – though she has little more awareness of facts than Mrs Davenport.

      1. Astonished says:

        Thank you Murray, you said it far better than I could. Did anyone consider that he wouldn’t have gotten elected to any higher office is he didn’t have proof that he was born in America.

        I’m so tired of these idiots. They need to get a life and stop this.

    2. Saber 1 says:

      Give the old lady a break. Remeber when the Muslims were up in arms about the drawwing of Alah? It’s a joke, just like NOBAMA.


      the republicans blow their own cover when they attached, to that shlt-bag t=party!!!

    1. WIREGUY_BILL says:

      You forgot UGLY

  2. DTLA says:

    So if I say the “N” word without racist intentions I’m not a racist? Her argument doesn’t exactly make sense. And she’s a birther. Go figure…

    1. Steve M. says:

      I work around a lot of black people and that word gets toss3ed around more regularly that at a Richard Pryor concert, but it isn;t racial.

  3. Matt says:

    Why do people keep saying that portraying Obama as a monkey is racist? When Bush was portrayed as a monkey, no one called it racist. Perhaps these people who are crying “racism” think there is some similarity between Obama’s ethnicity and a chimp? If so, that is THEIR racism.

    1. TDL says:

      There has long been a racist association between black people and chimps. If you are ignorant of this, then you are in the same ignorant boat as Ms. Davenport, and should probably avoid commenting on political issues until you get a bit more worldly.

      1. The Big Logic says:

        Would you kindly interpret the Missing Link philosophy in order to enilghten my lack of worldliness.

      2. barcfutant says:

        Bush, white, was depicted as a monkey. If we refuse Obama that same honor wouldn’t that be considered racism? Surely there are no similarities between chimpanzees and black people. Why should we give the comparison validity by condemning it?

    2. Golden1 says:

      I was thinking of the same thing this morning, glad you mentioned it BUT the difference here is that Bush actually acted dumb and often gave stupid answers and fumbled when he tried to answer questions.
      President Obama, is generally well spoken -the opposite is true of Bush Jr- Now the picture makes a racial slur because it attacks his race or lineage and it comes from A WHITE GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, Matt it is no secret that when people of other races talk trash about the black people, they offend them calling or comparing them to monkeys (chimps, gorillas, etc.) Just like we call certain whites trailer trash, crackers, etc, etc.

    3. Jim Souter says:

      If we need to explain, to you,the use of a monkey as a racist symbol you need to become aware of USA history, or wake up.

    4. XenasMom says:

      Because calling Bush a monkey is an insult to Monkeys

      1. WIREGUY_BILL says:

        I think Bobo the gorilla has a larger vocabulary than G.W.

    5. Rayann says:

      African slaves were referred to as not being human but rather a higher form of primate. Slaves were viewed as animals. To compare anyone to an animal is to dehumanize them.

      1. Astonished says:

        You know, if you studied Anthropology, even a little, you will discover that the Human race, such as it is, decended from a common ancestor, who was close to, if not, in fact, a primate. So, doesn’t mean we all have a little ape inside? Chimpanzees sure act like us a lot! But circulating such a degrading and dehumanizing picture should have been beneath an elected official, no matter what her private opinions are. How would she like it if someone photoshopped her picture onto a KKK mask?

  4. Golden1 says:

    Satire? Now she doesn’t know what to say to defend herself. Like the other smart people said in this forum… . blah, blah blah old lady, you’re just taking up space now, we need her replaced now. Americans are made up of all races and creeds, if you can’t respect that as a government official, you need to pack up and leave.

  5. J.D. says:

    Oh we jus good ol Kristian folk here at the KKK I mean GOP !

  6. drozone69 says:

    Even though the powers that be want us to accept this debacle of multi-culteralism.This proud American woman knows what our for fathers fought for.That is the right to our first ammendment.If we were in a communist country then she would be incarcerated.This goes to show that this nation is already half way through to communism.How ones frredom of speech is associated with a percieved conception of Racism is beyond me!!I will vote for this womans character alone.

    1. Golden1 says:

      Freedom of speech? We all have freedoms but we also have responsibilities and this Republican’s responsibilities are far more that the average citizen’s responsibilities, this lady is not helping anyone with those comments.

      We also have freedom to respect other people. Do you really think the founding fathers fought so that government officials can make racial slurs or ridicule others?

    2. Larry says:

      Then you are a fool. First, the constitution only protects your right against government action (not against actions by private parties), second, the protection of so called “free speach” is not absolute, your freedom of speech is limited in many ways…but that is all irrelevant since there is no state action.
      She (like you) is an idiot and should resign or be removed from her position for being a racist.

    3. WIREGUY_BILL says:

      It’s against the law to yell Fire in a theatre!! Also.

      1. PL says:

        Not if there is an actual fire!

    4. Rayann says:

      I believe in freedom of speech and support it all the way. But this is like rubbing salt into a open wound. We have a right to say how we feel and what we believe, and that makes us a great nation. But I feel the founding fathers would also want us to be socially responsible and think before we act. You say you would vote for this women’s character alone. Is this the proper character for a Christian women ?

    5. Astonished says:

      Freedom of speech does NOT include defamation of character, and degradation of someon, which is what this hinges on.

      You know the old saying, Your thoughts can’t get you in trouble, but your lips can.

  7. TDL says:

    “I guess we should know his origin, shouldn’t we? … I guess I wonder why he doesn’t tell us.”

    Is she serious? He has said time and again that he was born in Hawaii. Hawaii said that he was born in Hawaii. What is it gonna take for these idiots?

    1. Golden1 says:

      It’s going to take a few things including no tolerance for bigots, and a few people like you and me (who are not just grass roots fronts for corporate sponsors like the tea party) taking public office.

  8. ucla alumni says:

    You have no fear of being called a racist? Then, what is your full name?

    1. Golden1 says:

      One word comes to mind…..Gotcha!

    2. The Big Logic says:

      Alexandra Wallace

    3. The Big Logic says:

      Frank Logic, why do you ask?

    4. rob says:

      what would that prove?

  9. tony says:

    The OC, Socal’s nasty little Republican infection. Davenport is just the oozing pus.

  10. jaydee says:

    If it sounds like a racist pig, then it must be.

  11. Lou says:

    O my! Looking at Davenport’s picture up here… are you sure she wasnt the mommy chimp? For real though! She’s too freaking old to be such an idiot! What a molecule!

  12. drozone69 says:

    His father and him were both born in Africa.Chimpanzees are born in Africa.According to this nations Darwin theory they could be related.That is what we teach in public schools,so why the outcry?

    1. TDL says:

      “This nation” doesn’t have a “Darwin theory.” But good job trying to unite two completely unrelated issues in the name of racism.

      1. rob says:

        teaches it everyday in public school,though

      2. TDL says:

        True — evolution is taught in public schools, because science is taught in public schools, and evolution is empirically proven science. And that relates to Ms. Davenport’s racist statement how? Are you saying that black people are less evolved, and that that makes Davenport’s statement excusable? If so, you might want to study evolutionary science a bit more thoroughly.

    2. Golden1 says:

      You’re a smart one aren’t you?
      You seem to have learned from Darwin just as much as you wanted but if you want to talk science I want you to know that the cradle of civilization was what we know now as Iraq/Iran and after further study, it is actually in Africa.
      Do your homework

    3. Astonished says:

      According to the theory of Evolution, which IS taught in schools, the Human species decended from ape-like ancestors. So, I guess that means she’s a Chimpanzee too!

  13. BlackBrother says:

    I’m black and I’m tired or everyone treating us like we are babies. This lady did not do anything wrong. Obama is 1/2 white and 1/2 black. We need to get over crying about someone calling us names. Our nation has become a nation full of babies. Call me whatever you want. It does not matter. I believe she was joking around between friends. We all do it. Yes, even us black people joke around about ourselves.

    1. Curt says:

      I’m Black Too

      Yeah. I’m sure you’re black. Judging from the ridiculousness of your post, it’s a strong possibility that you are a white racist.

      1. rob says:

        their is no hatred stronger than the democrats for the republicans.

    2. John T. says:

      Yeah, and you must be one of those clueless black folks these days, turning a blind eye to racism. And the fact that we joke about ourselves does NOT excuse this woman’s actions!

      This woman is full of it, as far as I’m concerned. She knew good and well the implications and consequences of her actions, and had no business pulling a stunt like this.

      Satire my a$$! And what for?! I get sick of having my intelligence insulted!

  14. American girl says:

    That’s a common view among republicans… admit it. My inlaws are republicans and live in OC and even though they are church going old people my son has heard them call the president a monkey. That is the reason my son is not a republican and neither am I because I’m turned off by their rude behavior towards minorities.

  15. Mocha Mix says:

    Does not anyone think the idea of this being passed around is ONLY because the left portrayed Bush in the same manner? If you can’t take the heat, don’t give it. Why is always “OK” for the left to do something and it’s all funny, but when the right does the same thing it’s considered racist or a crime.

    1. Curt says:

      Only racists would think in this manner.

  16. John T. says:

    Go jump in the lake, Jane Doe.

  17. Richard says:

    Maybe she was merely satirizing Obama’s ears.

    1. Johnson says:

      If she wanted to satirize ears, Republican Paul Ryan’s would have been a better choice. He’s got ears big enough to keep an Airbus 380 aloft.

  18. KEN says:


  19. dallas says:

    Mrs. Davenport, you certainly look like obama’s chimp mom.

  20. ken says:


  21. Golden1 says:

    If his name starts with B and so does his last name then he mus be a Burro. He he he

  22. Hal says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, look closely at the face of the 74yr old Marilyn Davenport. This is the face of a white racist and she is not the only one. There are many of them just like her and sadly, many of them are in her age group. Make sure your kids know who the racists are and what to look and listen for. Davenport is an excellent example.

    1. Golden1 says:

      You know I thought you were going to say: look closely at the face of the 74yr old Marlyn Davenport, since Obama is half white, she could be his grandma but the picture only portrays two generations (anyway, it’s just bad period)…………..I agree with you though

  23. KEN says:

    WAKE THE H@LL UP !!!

    1. Golden1 says:

      Thank you Ken for your enlightened screaming, sometimes it is needed.

      Wake the hell up people

    2. windrunner says:

      That theory has been dismissed as BS. You need to keep up on anthropological research before you once again place humans into the same category as those who have the blood of Africa in their veins.

      1. Astonished says:

        What theroy was dismissed? Anthropology and Evolution are sciences founded in fact. What do you think happened. . . dozens of little spaceships visited Earth one day and deposited all different races around the world.

        Please. . . . .

  24. rudyviray says:

    Ask the most dump and stupid white monkey and they will tell you thats a way of
    a racist, and if there is still a small ‘DELICADEZA’ left in her stupid brain, she should

  25. George says:

    I don’t find it offensive.

  26. Diane Garinger says:

    She is a disgrace to the white race and what she said is racist. If I were black, i would not vote for anything but the democratic party. This woman should resign from her post immediately.

  27. The Mad Man says:

    It’s good political satire. The only ones that got offended are the monkeys.

  28. david h. george says:

    I think she is making a point, any liberal should understand. It is always about feelings. Shoe is on the other foot, lighten up strangers. It is how the judges feel, not her. So touchy we are, about this race stuff. TCH TCH

  29. Dartanyan says:

    “In September 1983 Cosell started another firestorm after innocently commenting on a play by Redskins wide receiver Alvin Garrett. As he recalled in I Never Played the Game, he remarked, “That little monkey gets loose, doesn’t he?” after a particularly good run by Garrett, who is black. Despite Cosell’s sterling record on racial and civil-rights issues, and his insistence that the remark was not only laudatory but one he used affectionately with his own grandchildren, many were quick to denounce him. Cosell refused to apologize and defended himself against the charge of racism. ..Howard resigned two months later from Monday night football under extreme pressures.

    So here we are 28 years later and it appears that an elected official of the people has less respect and sensitivity for the President of the United States than did a broadcaster had for a football player, and she won’t resign….

    Progress people really?

  30. dallas says:

    i think what she means, she wants to go to dancing with the stars program and dance with a monkey, then maybe she will score some points.

  31. Mikey says:

    Yes…keep trying to defend yourself. How about a YEAR IN THERAPY TO SHOW YOU WHY YOU ARE A RACIST.

  32. Princess21 says:

    As a young black teenager, I view this “satire” at President Obama’s expense as just another example of racism. However, I do not believe that the Republicans are at fault for this woman’s thoughtless actions. As Americans we must be able to separate the individual from the group. Sadly enough it is common for people of her age to make comments like this as that is the kind of America they grew up in. That does not make it right. When I am finally able to vote, I will make full use of who deserves it, whether Democrat, Republican, or Green. I also agree with the fact that all people originated from the African Savanna, whether by God or by evolution.

    1. Astonished says:

      What an enlightened and informed young lady! You do your parents proud!

  33. David H. George says:

    So much self pity. Why? God wants us to be happy, try it. Wearing out the issue, morons.

  34. Bryce says:

    This lady is the prime example of a sect of people that are preventing society from progressing.

  35. David H. George says:

    I thought liberals understood that heart stuff better . Makes you wonder if they are sincere in their beliefs.

  36. mike says:

    She meant he’s a trained media monkey…

  37. David H. George says:

    How about a monkey with Elton?

  38. RedDonnaAnn says:

    If this woman doesn’t know that implying black people are apes is racist then I question her age. Being 74, she lived through the de-segregation of the American school system as well as the signing of the Civil Rights Act. Moron does not begin to describe her. I am glad an ethics investigation has been launched but wish she’d save us all some money by stepping down.

  39. Dr. mJames Madison says:

    It is Pink Slip time. This our President and this was no accident. This was WORSE than a racial slur. Shame on you Lady!

  40. mike says:

    Maybe he’s just a Soros monkey?

  41. David H. George says:

    Marilyn Davenport Hang tough. You are right on.

  42. eric says:

    Davenport is so f-ing stupid she should be shot.

  43. Tax Payer says:

    This old goat should have had a fatal heart attack 4 years ago, Retire and go make baskets.

  44. Patsy says:

    @ The Big IlLogical Idiot:
    Your comment is exactly what the Republican Party does not want.

    Statements like yours is the reason people run from the TEA Party and Republicans.

  45. Gab says:

    Here’s the bottom line: whether she thought it was racist or not is not the issue. She is an ELECTED official and she’s older than dirt. She is supposed to have good judgment and by forwarding this email like a teenage girl, she exposed herself as an immature, possibly racist elected official. I don’t want someone like her representing me. I like how she brings up that she is a Christian, as if Christians can’t be racists. It’s irrelevant and cannot be “proven” what was in her heart. All we have is her behavior and that shows racism or lack of judgment. Both are grounds for removal from office.

  46. Ron Paul says:

    Remember when the GOP stood for balanced budgets, individual freedom and isolationism.
    The Republican Party has run up these deficits, we want the federal government to be in our bedrooms and between our women and their doctors, we started two wars instead of ending them like the Korean War and were supposed to stop the Vietnam War the Democrats started. We have lost our way!

    So why waste our time with these fools who use their racist rhetoric, like this Marilyn Davenport and Donald Trump with his birther unproven myth, why do we allow our Fox news people to keep talking down our country. Don’t they know we can win the next election with optimism and hope instead of the current rhetoric, that the sky is falling, if we are not careful we will end up like chicken little where no one will listen to us.

  47. echopark says:

    Ugh…what an idiot. She wants the president to explain his origin? Is she that clueless? He was born in Hawaii.

  48. dallas says:

    i think Pres. Obama is doing a hell of a job cleaning Bushe’s mess, and Mrs. Davenport is simply jelious of him and she is very sad about her party. Because obviously you couldn’t say anything bad about the great job Obama is doing, so you could only make fun of him. That is your and your parties way. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  49. shalt says:

    How was her this e-mail made public, who ever it was must have been some one she knew.. That person or persons she knows wants her job or they know she a BIGOTED.
    I’m sure this is not a isolated indcident with her, only this time she was exposed for indiscreations.

  50. Steve M. says:

    When you’re a public figure, this stuff happenes. Playing the race card is so stupid, it isn’t even funny. I saw the picture and thought it was FUNNY. What made it hilarous was the ears.

  51. concerned person says:

    OBAMA is a chimp because he does not understand that his socalistic ideas are killing the country, and that his real cuts to medicare are worse than what the republicans have had in mind, and that his taxing the rich is foolish because they have the money to create jobs. Not only that but giving to the illigals is a stupid thing because they deserve mothing from us, and any mooch that is on welfare should be removed from welfare and if they starve then they should go find a job.

    Obama is the ultimate job killer. Under Bush our homes hade value, under him we had real scientific breakthroughs. OBAMA wants to get rid of NASA. NASA is one of the biggest suppliers of jobs, and scientific developments. I agree that Bush acted irrational when it came to IRAQ and that his no child left behind act was stupid but he did his best as presedent

    OBAMA has failed. Please show me where TARP is succeding. Please show me where the new jobs are that he has created.

    I am ashamed that we as a nation are turrning socalistic and it is good to be unemployed. It makes me sick because we have potential but sooner or later we are going to be under chinese ruel do any of you want that to where we will have no rights and become poor fools, and be forced to speak chinese and more.

    Also OBAMA does not know the facts Coal does not give children asthma

    Also IF anybody pays atention all he does is blame the republicans, and backtalks his way through interviews. HE may sound fancy but if anybody pays atention then you can see that what he says is foolish and stupid

    PLease see reason and lets get rid of him in 212

    1. TDL says:

      Oh boy — your post reminded me that education reform is what America needs most.

    2. Independent says:

      You were either asleep from mid 2007 through January 20, 2009, or undergoing the longest brain transplantation in history because that entire period has been deleted from your memory. If I were to infer I would opt for the latter.

    3. big al says:

      concerned parrot,

      You have won the Koch brothers award for most lies in one comment. They are going to put you in charge of the Tea Party now that your hero, Davenport, showed her intellectual prowess. They are going to move her up to Trump;s running mate so you will have a team to admire. Good going. By the way, how do you, “see what he says?”

  52. TDL says:

    I’ve known a lot of senior citizens who became more tolerant and light-hearted in their old age. Unfortunately, Ms. Davenport chose instead to become more hateful and prejudiced, clinging to a bygone era in which blacks were second-class citizens, worthy of being ridiculed and compared to apes. She is a disgusting excuse for a human being, and I can’t wait for her to be forced out.

  53. Alw says:

    This Davenport is a idiot, and dumb as a box of rocks. She call herself a Christian, she is a lie, she don’t even know the defination of a Christian. A Christian is Christlike. This proves how really dumb most of American really are. 89% of Americans might be religious, but ChristianS NO and, religion that can be anything. A Christian is LOVING, KIND, FORGIVING, and Davenport is not even close. There is 7-11% of Americans might be Saints, and 89% of Americans are nothing but AIN’TS

    Davenport need to stop lieing to and on the the Holy Spirit, that’ Blaspheny, speaking evil against God, and there is no pardon for Blaspheny.

  54. rob gla says:

    go watch N*W*C*

  55. Larz Larzen says:

    She’s insensitive – but remember, DNC operatives and supporters have been calling President Bush “The Chimp” for years.

  56. surcher says:


  57. willscott says:

    I would have to tell this woman to get into the real world, it’s 2011. What she posted was racism! If she is so stupid and thinks it was satire then she needs to be fired for stupidity.

  58. Just thinking says:

    I thought Obama was 1/2 white so whats the diffrance between Bush?

  59. al says:

    She is the intelletual leader of the Tea Party. The Koch brothers must be proud.

  60. Jim Crow says:

    This woman is a Birther. All Birthers are racist. She got caught circulating racist propaganda and the other coward white racists are throwing her under the bus. Ordinarily, they would just have a good chuckle amongst their own but this time the crackers were exposed. At 74, this racist cracker doesn’t have much time left. Fortunately, she and many other “Christian” KKK sympathizers of her generation will soon be dead. May the burn in an eternal hell.

  61. barcfutant says:

    Bush, white, was depicted as a monkey. If we refuse Obama that same honor wouldn’t that be considered racism? Surely there are no similarities between chimpanzees and black people. Why should we give the comparison validity by condemning it?

  62. Francisco says:

    Todos ustedes son muy tontos. Yo soy mexicano y todos los días me discriminan. Pinche gringos., cabrones.,e

  63. Just a Thought says:

    On the plus side, hearing nuts like Davenport/Koch and the Tea Baggers speak will most definitely ensure re-election in 2012. So please keep up the crazy-talk. They’re doing a better job like this than if they just gave up. THANK YOU tea baggers …love ya =)

  64. Italian_baker says:

    Poor judgement on Davenport’s part. She should have known how liberals would interpret it. That said, there’s hundreds of Bush-as-a-chimp images on Google. So, you whiny, finger-pointing, crybaby liberals, this is just another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

  65. Lady Dem says:

    I say ignorant people like this Davenport lady keep doing for the GOP what she is doing!!! This is exactly what will get Obama re-elected!!! Love this!! Like they say “There is no such thing as bad publicity” This keeps Obama at the center of attetion and at the same time makes the GOP look like idiots!!! Love it! Keep up the good work GOP!!!!!

  66. mlaprep says:

    Italian_ Baker is right. Where was all right righteous indignation when Bush was pictured as a chimp? Obama’s being black doesn’t exempt him from being an object of sport and ridicule. No doubt having seen the Bush / chimp photocrops, its quite possible that Davenport did indeed view the photocrop of Obama as political satire in the same vein as that of Bush. It seems that the people who automatically associate chimps with blacks are liberals and some blacks. Hmmmn.

  67. CBSDebbie says:

    Her refusal to resign is just doing more damage to the GOP.

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