County GOP apologizes for "Ready for Hillary" executioner tweet

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Story highlights

  • The Riverside County GOP apologized after an offensive tweet about Hillary Clinton
  • County chair defended tweet before backtracking and apologizing

(CNN)A California county Republican chairman apologized Thursday after the Riverside County GOP was criticized for a tweet that featured a medieval executioner holding a noose with the caption, "Ready for Hillary."

On Wednesday, the Riverside County GOP twitter account sent out the offending picture, since deleted but captured by Jeff Horseman, a reporter for the local paper the Press Enterprise.
Scott Mann, chairman of the Riverside County GOP, issued a statement of apology:
    "I was horrified and had the Tweet taken down immediately," he said. "While some may think it was political satire, it clearly has no place in American political dialogue. As Chairman of the Republican Party of Riverside County, I apologize to everyone and anyone who was offended by it. I have taken steps to ensure that the individual who posted the Tweet no longer has access and I can assure you the person responsible will be held accountable."
    Mann had earlier told the Press Enterprise, "That meme is nothing more than political satire. It simply expresses how Ms. Clinton seemingly has gotten away with every scandal and political flip-flop in her public life -- from classified e-mail and Benghazi to her changing positions on health care, TPP, NAFTA, gay marriage, etc."
    The country's Democratic Party chair, Howard Katz, also spoke to the Press Enterprise, saying the tweet "is not political satire. That is a threat." He linked the controversial tweet to the divisive rhetoric of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.