UPDATED, 1:00 p.m., to reflect new statements criticizing Rammell.
In case you're wondering, the Rex Rammell story isn't going away. Or at least Rammell isn't.
And a growing roster of Republicans are criticizing Rammell for continuing to make what he calls sarcastic comments about "Obama tags," hunting permits targeting the president.
Sen. Mike Crapo, Rep. Mike Simpson and former Gov. and state GOP chairman Phil Batt have condemned Rammell's comments, as the Statesman's Dan Popkey has reported today.
Meanwhile, the rogue gubernatorial candidate issued a press release this morning — copied on his Twitter feed — following up on his "Obama tags" remark from Tuesday. Here it is.
"Anyone who understands the law, knows I was just joking, because Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue hunting tags in Washington D.C."
Unbelievable. When you're in a hole, quit digging. Rammell apparently has never heard that one.
In our Rammell editorial this morning. We posed a question: Will Idaho Republicans reject this rabble rousing, or will they sit quietly on the sidelines?
To their credit, some Republicans were quick to criticize Rammell for joining in on a joke about "Obama tags."
• "The Idaho Republican Party does not condone Rex Rammell's comments, whether in jest or not," party executive director Jonathan Parker said Thursday night.
• As the "Obama tags" story picked up steam in the social media Thursday, state Sen. Shawn Keough of Sandpoint promptly denounced Rammell's comments.
• Rep. Stephen Hartgen of Twin Falls (a former newspaper publisher who was my boss at The Times-News in Twin Falls), said Rammell's remarks reflect a coarsening of political discourse. As Hartgen told NewWest.Net/Boise's Jill Kuraitis: “Words have the power of persuasion. If words point someone in one direction, and it’s a dangerous one — of course we have freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean you can shout ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theatre. There are things you can’t say and shouldn’t say.”
• In our online comments this morning, Rep. Raul Labrador of Eagle condemned Rammell — and said our editorial gave short shrift to the Republicans who have criticized Rammell.
However, I still think our question is germane: How do other Republicans respond?