The Delaware County, Indiana Republican Party is reconsidering its decision to display a punching bag with the likeness of President Obama with a black eye at the Delaware County State Fair.
On Wednesday, the fair hosted Democrat Night, and attendees offended by the caricature asked officials to remove it. At least one Republican was equally outraged with the display. Brad Oliver, who is running for a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives, had asked the individuals tasked with running the party’s tent to remove the punching bag, and when he was “overruled,” he instructed his supporters to leave the fair in protest.
The display was finally removed after a veteran approached Tom Bennington, a spokesman for the county GOP , and voiced his concerns:
Bennington confirmed reports that among the people objecting to the Obama punching bag was a local man who, like Bennington, was a military veteran. The man objected to the disrespectful image of the military commander-in-chief and Bennington agreed.
“My contention is that it is not racial,” Bennington said. “Obama is somebody we want to defeat. It was all meant in fun. But in reality I considered it a little offensive myself. It’s taken down. It was taken down five minutes after the discussion.
Despite complying with visitors’ demands to remove the punching bag, so far Republicans have largely remained unapologetic. Even Bennington, who asked the party to remove the display, seemed oblivious to the truly offensive nature of it: “It was what I consider mildly offensive,” he said initially. “We had a lot of people having a good time with it.”