Rep. Nan Hayworth’s (R-NY) office has responded to outrage over her spokesman’s suggestion of “hurl[ing]some acid at those female democratic Senators.”In the statement from Friends of Nan Hayworth, the campaign defended Townsend’s comments, saying that he was speaking as a private individual and not a campaign staff member (which he also is):
This is a manufactured controversy by a campaign operation that has, for months, hurled offensive rhetoric and imagery at Nan Hayworth on various Facebook pages, including the one mentioned today.[...]
The comment receiving the attention was not made on behalf of the Congresswoman or her campaign and was clearly not meant to be taken literally. Meanwhile, this morning’s dismal employment report proves yet again that the Becker campaign is doing all it can to distract attention from the real issues that mean everything to the future of our Hudson Valley. [...]
It’s not too much to insist that the media responsibly analyze context and perspective rather than simply broadcast hysterical and irresponsible attacks from a campaign that is purely seeking to score political points against a Representative who has a consistently strong and positive record as an advocate for every citizen she serves.
Campaign manager Bruce Harvie also pointed out to ThinkProgress that the moderator of the Facebook thread on which Townsend’s comment was originally ridiculed is a paid staffer for their opponent’s campaign. He said similar comments were posted by opponents of Hayworth’s — and pointed out one comment suggesting that Nan Hayworth be thrown in a pot of boiling oil — but none of those comments were covered by the press, or called out by the moderator.
However, the campaign could not point to a comment by a paid staffer that was as violent or sexist as Townsend’s remark.