INDIANAPOLIS–Sen. Joe Donnelly is not apologizing for comments he made during Tuesday’s debate that some people are calling racially insensitive.
“Our state director is Indian-American. But, he does an amazing job,” said Donnelly. “Our director of all constituent services, she’s African-American. But, she does an even more incredible job than you could ever imagine.”
Donnelly was responding to a question about diversity.
“My campaigns in our Senate office should reflect the face of Indiana,” he said.
His Republican opponent Mike Braun, said he believed hard work and merit are what determine how far a person should go in the work place. Donnelly, a Democrat, said he believes that some people need to have opportunities made for them.
He told reporters at an event Wednesday that he meant to say “and” instead of “but,” and that he believes his record of diversity speaks for itself.
“I misspoke,” he said. “My diversity of the office has been a complete commitment of mine. It’s part of my life’s work and the record speaks for itself.”
“Senator Donnelly owes Hoosiers and his staff members an immediate apology for his racial gaffes during last night’s final Indiana Senate debate. You can’t brush this off as an error,” said Indiana’s Republican National Committee spokesperson Michael Joyce.
“Donnelly’s comments were out of line and he must tell Hoosiers that those remarks were unacceptable. The fact that Donnelly had the opportunity to apologize for this and didn’t is appalling.”
Donnelly reiterated Wednesday that he is committed to racial diversity.
PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis