by Max Brantley
GOP senatorial candidate Curtis Coleman yesterday took exactly the wrong approach to responding to criticism of his recent remark that you need a visa and vaccinations to visit Southeast Arkansas. He could have said it was a joking remark that, on reflection, lent itself to misinterpretation and he was sorry.
Instead, he defended the crack as a "metaphor" for the state's diversity.
“Inferring that one part of our state is a disease-ridden foreign country is not only incorrect, but also insulting,” said the statement, distributed by Democratic Party executive director Mariah Hatta.
But Coleman said he was trying to “accentuate or maybe even celebrate the enormous diversity we have in Arkansas.”
“I’ve done a lot of international traveling since the 70’s, and when going to a new and different land, you had to have a visa and shots. I only meant it to show the tremendous differences you see from one corner of the state to the other. I love Southeast Arkansas and meant it only as a metaphor,” he said.