Deal expresses regret for ‘ghetto grandmothers’ remark

The list of forbidden phrases in Georgia politics grew by one this morning: “Ghetto grandmothers.”

On Saturday morning, before a breakfast gathering of the Cherokee County GOP, congressman and candidate for governor Nathan Deal was describing his role in legislation to demand proof of citizenship for federal or state health care benefits.

Said Deal:

“We got all the complaints of the ghetto grandmothers who didn’t have birth certificates and all that. We wrote some very liberal language as to how you can verify it. My mother was born in 1906 and she didn’t have a birth certificate. They didn’t give birth certificates back then. But we got her one, because you can do it under the proper procedures of your state.”

Unfortunately for Deal, videographers from the rival campaigns of Karen Handel and Eric Johnson were there to record the moment. One of them provided this:

This morning, Deal issued the following statement: “I regret my choice of words and in no way meant to offend anyone.”

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301 comments Add your comment

Ghetto Grandmother

October 5th, 2009
10:44 am

Well, first he get’s rich off of a state monopoly no bid contract, now he is flat out racist in talking about grandmothers…

I think it’s safe to say this is one wrotten deal…

GoOx

October 5th, 2009
10:52 am

Deal, Real, Steal, first he makes himself rich. Now he show’s his raciest tendencies. He is one of the top 15 most corrupt members of congress. He should do Georgia a favor, drop out of the race, retire from congress, and go spend some of the cash that the tax payers of Georgia have funded for decades.

Lil T

October 5th, 2009
10:54 am

Why was it necessary to use such terminology? This is degrading, cynical, sinister, unnecessary, unwarranted and rude.

jconservative

October 5th, 2009
10:58 am

He used the terminology because he knew it would go over well with his audience.

David

October 5th, 2009
11:02 am

Plain and simple, he’s a bigot. Any other claim is horse-hockey. Being a white male, many of these cretins just blurt out bigoted statements in front of me assuming that I agree.

More white Georgia males are bigots. But, it’s Georgia. What do you expect?

Bob

October 5th, 2009
11:03 am

Enter your comments here
Unfortunate choice of words, but still the best candidate for governor.

Smokewagon

October 5th, 2009
11:04 am

Ya’ll might just want to get over the ghetto grandmother thing. Lump it in there with “honky” and “cracker”.

Urban

October 5th, 2009
11:06 am

So, it sounds like it’s OK for African Americans to use this terminology; however, when someone else of another cultures uses it, it’s racist? Double standards, right?

amy

October 5th, 2009
11:06 am

racist? who made the jump that all “ghetto grandmothers” are of one race? since when is “ghetto” a racial slur?

the guy is an idiot, but that’s no excuse for making ignorant statements in turn.

He will NEVER win

October 5th, 2009
11:07 am

Wow! It’s amazing now that President Obama is President of the U.S. how all of these racist people are coming out of the woodworks. He was very wrong for saying that.

There are a lot of people, American people who do not have birth certificates for one reason or another, but that does NOT give anyone a right to disrespect them!!! He will NEVER WIN!!! He will NOT get my vote!

Sam of Georgia

October 5th, 2009
11:08 am

Thanks to this recording, the voters can decide if he deserves their vote. I hope that they vote for a different person besides this individual.

Grace

October 5th, 2009
11:08 am

I’m not going to lie. When I saw the headline I thought he was going to be referring to all these 36yr old grandmothers in the hood.

Judy

October 5th, 2009
11:12 am

Enter your comments here Oh, give me a break! get over it….if it was old white crackers it would not have a headline!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Sherm

October 5th, 2009
11:13 am

David, obviously from your comments we can assume that you’re a bigot as well. And no, you’re not a “white male” so stop pretending. What Deal said was wrong, but I’d bet a million bucks that you’d have no problem if the tables were reversed.

Moved South for the Food

October 5th, 2009
11:16 am

I wasn’t going to vote for him but now I am. At least he is willing to say what is on his mind unlike the others. They are all racist, both the white and the black ones. A slip of the tongue will not derail him.

Molly

October 5th, 2009
11:17 am

Ditto, Amy.

Sadly, 99% of those who play the race card now have no clue what real racism is. For them a racist is nothing more than a white guy from the South.

Real Stupid

October 5th, 2009
11:17 am

Deal. Real. Stupid.

Linger Longer’s Jamie Reynolds

October 5th, 2009
11:17 am

I don’t know about Deal, we know he is a crook but aren’t they all. The real Deal question is what does it cost to buy him. If it’s only $300,000 a year like he is taking from the Georgia taxpayer, we can work something out.

Westside Chris

October 5th, 2009
11:17 am

Why is he racist for using the word ghetto? I have people living in my ghetto who are white like me and probably are grandmothers who don’t have a birth certificate. The R card is so tired. Blacks rap about their ghetto but whites can’t say it even when we live in it. I’m with Amy, lose the ignorance.

Deal is a traitor

October 5th, 2009
11:19 am

This just shows how proud the republicans are of their ignorance and racism.

Concerned About Your Ignorance

October 5th, 2009
11:24 am

That shows people’s ignorance… Ghetto is not just black people, ghetto is where poor people live. And in history, was a place where Jewish people resided due to economic struggle. He was not incorrect on any sense. People are so quick to get offended and pull a race card but never seem to read between the lines. If you actually learn and comprehend what a GHETTO is… you wouldn’t be acknowledged as GHETTO! Look it up on Wikipedia! Stupid butts….

rukidding

October 5th, 2009
11:25 am

Is this the type of person we want representing out state? We the Georgia tax payers have payed him millions over the past decade. Other than stuffing his own pockets, what has he done since he was in congress.

His insensitive remarks are uncalled for.

Parker Wills

October 5th, 2009
11:25 am

Funny how liberals are the first to cry racism, yet they’ve proven to be the most intolerant and bigoted people in the country.

And now, back to more predictable comments by ignorant lefties…..

Rod

October 5th, 2009
11:26 am

Well he is being honest and I respect that. It is good when a person shows their true colors. I wish more people would be honest. Anyway he just lost my vote. It is also funny how people like Sherm say if it was reversed people would have no problem. That is nonsense. He basically said that the people who complained had no business complaining. The last time I looked this is a America where we respect the right to complain. Also I know it wasn’t only “those” grandmothers who complained. Also I am reporting Judy and Smokewagon for using the word saltines those other words in their comments. Oh yeah trying to use the code words doesn’t work. People are always trying to claim they are not racist/bigots since it is not PC anymore. What a joke. I say go have a conversation with your black, latino or jewish friends about racial/bigoted issues so we can really get along better.

Judy

October 5th, 2009
11:27 am

Deal, it doesn’t matter if your a republican….its ignorance!!! from both sides….reverse discrimination is now the topic!! you must be black… and westside is correct..

How does this help

October 5th, 2009
11:28 am

Shouldn’t Deal be focused on creating jobs, and trying to get people out of the ghetto? Instead he puts them down and insults them. The Governor represents all citizens of Georgia.

True Atlantan

October 5th, 2009
11:29 am

Here we go again…like every AJC blog this one will turn into a race war. Just let it go people…there are bigger problems in the world other than a politician using the word “ghetto.” Also, I’m white and I live in the ghetto :-)

Ghetto Grandmothers Baby Daddy

October 5th, 2009
11:29 am

Everyone that posts is racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, etc, etc. So what? We each have to deal with our own shortcomings. I am more inclined to listen to someone that speaks their mind in a direct manner and make my decision based on that, vs. a politician managed by handlers to be 100% politically correct. Say what you mean and mean what you say!

Twon

October 5th, 2009
11:29 am

There are several words or phrases that white people can’t say whitout having some sort of racial backlash, we all know one. The term ghetto has turned into something that refers to lower income areas, those areas often lived in by blacks. Therefore when a white person makes a reference to the ghetto, he comes off looking racist. Don’t know where Mr. Deal stands on the issue of race personally but me being a black voter the statement didnt help his chances of getting my vote.

Dan

October 5th, 2009
11:30 am

Enter your comments here
WRONG WRONG WRONG–the point is that they are ALL wrong. The state of Georgia (Vital Records) does not issue delayed birth certificates. They did years ago, but not now. Check with Vital Records. Karen Handel should know that her Archives division is constantly inundated with requests because Vital Records cannot supply a 1906 birth certificate. Also, many births in the 1920s were not properly reported. Just ask any genealogist! Do any of these people have an idea about this constiuency? And most are not ghetto grandmothers, but very old people from around the rural parts of the state.

Judy

October 5th, 2009
11:31 am

Hey and truck drivers swear, and then there are those religous people…will the world never quit?

Wow

October 5th, 2009
11:31 am

Sonia Sotomayor… thats all you have to say.

IAMNOTSURPRISED

October 5th, 2009
11:32 am

HE IS A REPUBLICAN, NEED I SAY MORE????

D

October 5th, 2009
11:34 am

ghetto
–noun, plural -tos, -toes. 1. a section of a city, esp. a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.
2. (formerly, in most European countries) a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live.
3. a section predominantly inhabited by Jews.
4. any mode of living, working, etc., that results from stereotyping or biased treatment: job ghettos for women; ghettos for the elderly.

Doesn’t say anything about African-Americans in there does it? Sorry, but the word ghetto doesn’t belong to you and yours. It belongs to the Jews. So shut ya mouths!

billy bob from cobb

October 5th, 2009
11:34 am

he spoke the truth

IAMNOTSURPRISED

October 5th, 2009
11:34 am

AND TRUST ME, HE DOES NOT REGRET WHAT HE SAID. HE MEANT IT. IGNORANT FOOL.

Greg

October 5th, 2009
11:36 am

There is no such thing as reverse discrimination. Prejudice is prejudice and the sooner people realize that, the sooner we can stop all this nonsense. Calling it “reverse” is nothing more than excused retribution. When was the last time you read about “reverse rape” or “reverse spousal abuse” or “reverse assault?” Reverse discrimination is a political term that attempts to mask and justify true racism.

Judy

October 5th, 2009
11:37 am

HEY TWON, whatever color, ghetto is not just black…got a problem get ovet it! Its a saying??? and germans do lutafisk.

Mel

October 5th, 2009
11:38 am

@Molly – Not so fast. I am DEFINITELY not from the South and I can tell you that you are WRONG in your thinking…..I do question why I moved here but you are incorrect.

Fletch

October 5th, 2009
11:38 am

I guess it is OK for memos to be sent out to stop a white mayor from being elected at all costs, but you refer to someone as “ghetto” you are a pariah. This is why the dem support across the board is plummeting – the double-standards are getting tiresome.

Maery

October 5th, 2009
11:38 am

Deal is “my” Congressional Rep. During the Bush fiasco, I wrote to him and asked why nothing was being done about the blatant disregard for the American people, regarding the war in Iraq the Scooter Libby incident and other issues. I asked his why Clinton was nearly impeached for lying to the American people about sex, but Bush could lie about anything he wanted, spend millions and millions on a war nobody wanted, etc. “MY” Congressional Rep wrote and chastised me, his constituent, and told me Bush knew what he was doing, and I should basically shut up and let him do his job – well he did his job, all over us. I would not vote for Deal even if he was running alone – he’s made enough money robbing North Georgia of decent and fair representation. Forgive any typos please, I do know how to spell.

Judy

October 5th, 2009
11:39 am

Hey Greg, which planet do you live on?

me

October 5th, 2009
11:39 am

Why do some ignorant and pitifully racist white folks always try to fend off their bigoted ways by using the childish excuse “Well, if he does it, we can do it too”……

Here’s the deal: stop being racist, race-baiting jerks and you won’t have a problem with most black people. And note to you: 99 percent of the black folks here in this country haven’t called white folks “cracker” and “honky” in decades. We all laugh at how y’all stupidly think that!

three jack

October 5th, 2009
11:39 am

Definitely pandering to his audience, or at least leadership of the Cherokee County Republican Party.

Or was he calling his own grandmother ‘ghetto’ since he immediately caught himself and moved to talking about her? Either way, Deal’s time on the political scene is done…he should have been prosecuted for the no-bid state contract he worked to maintain using the authority of his congressional office.

Fair and Balanced

October 5th, 2009
11:41 am

So is Deal saying his mother is a “ghetto grandmother”?

Judy

October 5th, 2009
11:42 am

OK Me, where have you been lately…..I’m new to the south and just heard that….HERE in Georgia!

Cracker!!! and not a cinnamon one either.

Me2

October 5th, 2009
11:45 am

I prefer the term “Trailer Trash” to “Ghetto Grandmother,” but let’s discuss it over a beer at Cracker Barrel.

Marcos

October 5th, 2009
11:46 am

So typical. But he represents the majority of voters in his district. And obviously they are as racist and ignorant as he is. And obviously he is a birther who is stupid enough to believe that President Obama was born in Kenya or some such idiocy. And to think, this moron could be our next governor.

Alex

October 5th, 2009
11:47 am

This is partisan nonsense……

Peter

October 5th, 2009
11:48 am

Gotta love this guy……..

” Hey I regret I opened my moth and said what I really meant ! ”

” Hey I forgot my White Hood today ! ” I guess that is really what he meant !