Following up on MSNBC reporting in which comedian Al Franken slandered Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and, by implication, all who served under Ronald Reagan, nine former Reagan administration officials have issued a statement blasting Franken's latest hateful, divisive slam, which was reported on MSNBC's Web site.
The verbal attack from the Democratic challenger to Minnesota U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman merits follow-up discussion and reporting, the officials maintain.
The statement of former Reagan administration officials:
"Yesterday it was reported that Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken called former President Ronald Reagan and anyone who served in his Administration 'a racist and a sexist.'
"Those of us who served Ronald Reagan and the nation find these outrageous comments to be highly offensive and hateful.
"Al Franken must immediately apologize to the Reagan family and all those who served in the Reagan administration.
"As reported by Tom Curry of MSNBC, Al Franken, in criticizing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, said: 'Being a racist and a sexist was a good calling card for the Reagan administration.'
"Ronald Reagan was a man of great compassion and generous spirit, who deeply believed the American dream, should be available for all — regardless of sex, creed, or color.
"There is nothing more despicable than injecting sexism and racism into a campaign for public office. It is particularly offensive when it is done to revile the name of a deceased former President who faithfully served and those devoted members of his administration.
"Al Franken owes an immediate apology to the people of Minnesota, to the American people, and to Nancy Reagan and her family.
"Al Franken owes an apology to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and his family.
"Al Franken also owes an apology to all of us who dutifully served our nation in the Reagan administration and don't deserve to be subjected to Al Franken's vile and malicious slurs."
A.B. Culvahouse, counsel to the president
B.J. Cooper, deputy press secretary to President Reagan
Thomas Collamore, assistant to the vice president
Michael Baroody, deputy assistant to the president
Mark Sullivan, general counsel in the Treasury Department
Mike Lake, staff assistant to the president
Chriss Winston, deputy assistant secretary of Labor
Charles Powers, deputy assistant secretary of Treasury
James Lake, special assistant in the Department of Labor
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