Clay Aiken Running For Congress, Already Target of Anti-Gay Attacks

It’s only been a couple of hours since Clay Aiken launched his Congressional bid, but the anti-gay rhetoric has already started rolling in. Aiken is running against Tea Party Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina’s 2nd District, and shortly after he released his first campaign video, Ellmers attacked Aiken for his, ahem, “San Francisco” values. And you know what she meant by that.

“Aiken [is] a performer whose political views more closely resemble those of San Francisco than Sanford,” Ellmers’ spokeswoman said in a statement Wednesday.

Hmmm. Of course, it could just be a reference to San Francisco’s general liberalism, not its reputation as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country. But considering both Ellmers’ hideous record on LGBT issues and the time-honored Tea Party strategy of using gay-baiting rhetoric to slam their opponents, there’s no reason Ellmers should be given the benefit of the doubt here.

It was clearly a veiled reference to Aiken’s sexuality, and Dan Gurley, the former executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, agreed.

“I’m sure you thought you were being clever with your statement yesterday,” Gurley wrote to Jessica Wood, Ellmers’ spokeswoman. “Well, you weren’t. You were offensive and childish, and if you worked for me or any client of mine I’d fire you. Surely you know better than this. You have offended many on both sides of the political aisle with your ill thought out comments.”

Gurley, who went on to criticize the Ellmers campaign as “uncreative” and “small-minded,” is the latest example of how the GOP’s recent swig toward abject insanity is alienating more levelheaded members of the party. In the last week, two Nevada Republicans have left the GOP due to its extremism, and on Wednesday, a Republican lawmaker in South Dakota expressed concerns that the state legislature’s extremism is preventing people from moving to the state.