Rick Shaftan, a political operative that has a longstanding relationship with North Bergen Mayor/state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32), called First Lady Michelle Obama a “racist pig” via Twitter last week and Larry Wainstein – Sacco’s main adversary at the polls tomorrow – is calling for Shaftan’s removal from the campaign.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In a tweet sent out on Thursday, Shaftan called Michelle Obama a “racist pig” when referencing A Daily Caller story where Obama said museums don’t make young minorities feel welcome.
Shaftan has stated on social media on various occasions that the opinions expressed are his own and has since issued an apology to Sacco.
Wainstein is calling for Shaftan’s removal from the campaign, as well as a public apology from Sacco over the situation.
“These deplorable, offensive tweets lobbied at the First Lady Michelle Obama by Rick Shaftan are just further proof of the racially biased hatred towards blacks and hispanics in the Sacco campaign,” Wainstein said in a statement.
“I call on Mayor Sacco and his campaign to publicly apologize to Mrs. Obama and to all the Hispanics in North Bergen Furthermore, We call on Sacco to remove this individual from his campaign immediately.”
“There is absolutely no place in the United States for this race hatred. The voters of North Bergen will now see the true colors of Sacco and his political operatives.”
Wainstein also pointed to Shaftan being paid $252,000 by the Sacco campaign this year. However, team Sacco says that Shaftan is a media buyer for the campaign – which the majority of that money is spent on.
In a statement, the mayor himself said he was “outraged and disgusted” by Shaftan’s tweet.
“When I found out about Rick Shaftan’s statements I was outraged and disgusted,” Sacco said.
“I am a strong supporter of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, going back to 2008 and most recently to being one of the first elected officials in the state to support the President’s immigration policy.”
“I completely disagree with what was said and find the statements to be distasteful and untrue. Rick Shaftan works for my campaign as a pollster and media buyer and he does not speak for me.”
Shaftan was removed from Republican Steven Lonegan’s Senate campaign in 2013 after going on an x-rated rant about Cory Booker (Lonegan’s opponent) regarding a Twitter interaction Booker had with a stripper (per Talking Points Memo).