A former Canadian mayor got himself into hot water after making disparaging remarks about Latinos on Twitter while watching a recent GOP debate.
Larry O’Brien, the former mayor of Ottawa from 2006 until 2010, took offense to the topic matter during last Thursday’s Republican debate in Florida. "The spics are getting way too much airtime!" O'Brien posted on larry_o'brien1 Twitter account.
At first, some on the social media account thought that the post might be a hoax until a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper confirmed with O’Brien that he had indeed sent out the Tweet.
O'Brien said that he was angered watching the debate because too many of the questions dealt with issues important to the Spanish-speaking community in Florida and he was wanted to hear about other issues such as the economy and foreign affairs.
"I should have used 'Latinos'," O'Brien said, adding that he has since apologized personally to Latinos that he knows and that he didn't realize how offensive the word "spic" was."I really didn't.”
Despite claiming ignorance to the term, O’Brien did not back down from using it on Twitter and said that he sometimes uses politically incorrect words to draw attention to points that he believes are important.
“I believe that the Latino community was asking (about) too many parochial issues when I think the 2012 presidential debate is going to be the most significant election in this century,” O’Brien said, according to Metro. “Did I choose a completely inappropriate word? Absolutely. Was it intentional? No.”
O’Brien said that if he was still in politics the tweet would have been disastrous, but as a private citizen he can now explain his reasoning easier.
"Anyone who knows me understands that being politically incorrect (PI) has been a special strength all my life. Even today, as a recovering politician, I still manage to get into a little trouble with my unique ability to make things clearer to the regular people by being PI," he wrote on his blog, according to the Toronto Sun.