Rep. Murtha: Western PA is “racist,” but Obama will win

In a brazen backhanded slap to his home state and his home district in Pennsylvania, Democratic Representative John Murtha told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today that Western Pennsylvania is definitively “racist,” but says Obama will do well there anyway once people warm up to him.

Report from Yahoo News:

PITTSBURGH – U.S. Rep. John Murtha says his home base of western Pennsylvania is racist and that could reduce Barack Obama’s victory margin in the state by 4 percentage points.

The 17-term Democratic congressman tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story posted Wednesday on its Web site that, as he put it: “There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area.”

He says it’s taken time for many Pennsylvania voters to come around to liking Obama, but he should still win the state, though not in a runaway.

In a separate interview posted Wednesday on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Web site, Murtha says Obama has a problem with the race issue in western Pennsylvania that could shave 4 points off his lead in the state.

Are we to take this as a setup should Obama lose the state of Pennsylvania? I doubt it since Murtha has a history of making statements first, and asking questions later.

I think I’d be asking Murtha for a followup on that comment..