Karin Housely, a Republican running for a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota, once compared Michelle Obama to a chimp on Facebook in 2009, according to the Huffington Post.
Housley, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Tina Smith for Al Franken’s vacated Senate seat, made the comparison in the comment thread of an April 2009 Facebook post which criticized the former first lady, who is African American, for her posture and for touching Queen Elizabeth II when the two met. The comment was made on her personal Facebook page before she ran for Minnesota state Senate in 2010.
Housley reportedly wrote: “Michelle is soooo far from cool. Don’t we expect our First Ladies to at least stand up straight? (And my dear sister, know the proper etiquette and DO NOT TOUCH THE QUEEN!).”
She then commented on her own post by saying the chimp in the 1951 Ronald Reagan film “Bedtime for Bonzo” had better posture than Obama.
“I do miss Nancy Reagan. Ronald even more. Speaking of Bedtime for Bonzo, I think even that chimp stood up straighter than Michelle. Uh-oh, someone is going to make a comment,” Housley wrote, according to screenshots posted by the Huffington Post.
White people comparing black people to monkeys, apes, or chimps has a long racist history, and one that has commonly been made by Republicans when discussing the Obama family or other African American Democrats. Most recently, in August, Ron DeSantis, a Republican running for governor in Florida, told voters not to “monkey this up” by electing his African American challenger Andrew Gillum. And in May, ABC abruptly cancelled its successful reboot of the show “Roseanne,” after actress Roseanne Barr compared former Obama administration senior adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape on Twitter.
Housley is a state Senator and prominent Minnesota realtor who has a history of supporting legislation that benefits her business. She recently stood alongside President Trump during a campaign rally and has positioned herself as a champion for senior citizens despite being clueless on the issue of social security.
When the Huffington Post asked whether Housley stands by her comments, her campaign spokesman attacked the news organization as being an “extension of the Democratic party” doing “Tina Smith’s dirty work.”