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Democrat Farmer apologizes for Eastern Kentucky jokes

June 21, 2011 | | Comments Comments

By Beth Musgrave
bmusgrave@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT — The Democratic nominee for the state’s top agriculture job apologized Tuesday for jokes he made about people in Eastern Kentucky during a comedy routine several years ago.

A clip of Bob Farmer, a Louisville marketing executive running for commissioner of agriculture, was included in an Internet video posted by his opponent, Republican state Rep. Jamie Comer of Tompkinsville. In the video, Farmer makes jokes about Eastern Kentucky, where his wife is from, during a performance at the Derby Dinner Playhouse in Danville, Ind.

Bob Farmer

Bob Farmer

Farmer joked that Eastern Kentucky is a place where “cars are on blocks and houses are on wheels.” He says someone told him the FBI would not investigate a particular county “cause all the DNA is alike and there ain’t no dental records.”

Farmer goes on to say that people in Eastern Kentucky did not trust him because he had shoes on and had all of his teeth.

Farmer, who has been a marketing executive and public speaker since 1982, said he has been doing the comedy routine for nearly 25 years. No one has ever complained, he said.

In a written statement, Farmer said: “I sincerely apologize if my comments offended any of my fellow Kentuckians. Over the years I have spoken across the country to groups and shared my love for our Commonwealth and its people and hope that people see these comments as an attempt at humor not an insult.”

“I apologize if it offends anyone,” Farmer said in a phone interview. “I don’t want to offend people.”

Farmer issued the apology after the Republican Party sent out a news release on Tuesday demanding that Farmer apologize.

“If the Kentucky Democratic Party does not renounce this fool’s ridiculous little routine, it will lose every bit of credibility with voters,” said Steve Robertson, the Republican Party chairman. “To Bob Farmer I would say this: don’t quit your day job … whatever it is. You will not be Kentucky’s next Agriculture Commissioner.”

Farmer said Republicans wouldn’t have made the comedy routine an issue if they weren’t worried.

“When did they lose their sense of humor, when I got 15 points ahead?” Farmer said.

Farmer, who has never farmed, beat four Democratic opponents in the May primary. A CN|2 poll conducted earlier this month showed Farmer leading Comer 48 percent to 33 percent, despite never having run for political office. At the time of the poll, Comer dismissed Farmer’s lead, telling CN|2 that people either think Bob Farmer is current Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer or that he farms.

Comer defeated Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in the Republican primary.

Farmer said the remarks were taken from a DVD of some of his speeches and comedy routines that was released in 2006. Farmer said he expected the Republicans to make those comments an issue in the campaign.

“If this is all they have to hang their hats on … I mean, come on?” Farmer said.

Dan Logsdon, the chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, said Tuesday that Farmer’s comments were not funny.

“Mr. Farmer has apologized for his offensive remarks, which he needed to do,” Logsdon said. “His comments were neither funny or appropriate.”

Farmer is the spokesman for the Farmers’ Almanac and frequently travels the country giving speeches and doing comedy routines. Comer is a cattle rancher who was first elected to the state House in 2001.

Filed Under: 2015 Statewide RacesAgriculture Commissioner

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Comments

  1. Keith says:

    You just lost the election pal!

  2. Harold says:

    He should be forced to withdraw.

  3. snotnosedpunk says:

    Wow go figure, the Herald-Liberal leads with the headline “Democrat Farmer apologizes for Eastern Kentucky jokes.” This guy is a stand up comic, and apparently not a good one and has no business running for Ag Commissioner.

    Even his own party took him to task, calling the jokes neither funny nor appropriate. Leaving it to the liberals in the ivory towers on Midland Avenue to try and defend this.

    I guess the new joke in Eastern Kentucky is the dwindling circulation of this yellow piece of journalism.

  4. MountainMan says:

    First he apologizes, then he claims it’s only an issue raised by the GOP because he’s up in some poll done in the middle of the summer.

    The truth is he’s only apologizing because he got caught, much in the same way Congressman Weiner in New York only apologized after being caught and then lying about it.

    It makes me question what else this guy has said that might be floating around on the internet. I think the GOP isn’t scared, but it’s him that’s frightened about anything else that may come out. And I think his apology isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

  5. DaBlueGuy says:

    His wife is from Eastern Kentucky? I was at the Frank Simon event and he said she was from Hart County. Something about this guy doesn’t make me trust him, his jokes about folks from the mountains not withstanding.

  6. sushear says:

    I agree, Mountain Man. 25 years of this routine and it didn’t occur to him that it might be something that would offend people?

    The beauty of free speech is that it allows us to see who a person really is. Now we know who this guy really is. Thanks, Bob Farmer.

  7. DiehardDemocrat says:

    I’m a diehard Democrat from Eastern KY. Just saw this clip. This jerk lost my vote.

  8. From East Kentucky says:

    You have lost my vote and most likely the election. Shame on you for making fun of us good people. Not all eastern Kentucky people are like you discribed, some are highly educated.

  9. aaron-ashland says:

    I think they’re pretty funny jokes. I think it’s mostly true.

  10. John says:

    This idiot would try to milk a bull and he’s running for Ag Commissioner.

  11. Bill says:

    This tells me the Democrat voters don’t look very close at who they are nominating for office. A Community Organizer for President and a Commedian for Commissioner of Agriculture.

  12. Robert says:

    Many people living in central, northern, and west Kentucky are from EAST Kentucky and/or have family in East Kentucky. Mr. Farmer may have been ahead by 15 points but you can bet he isn’t ahead by 15 points today.

    The democrats like to talk about their ticket of candidates, I’d like to know what those candidates think about what Mr. Farmer had to say. Where’s our governor when someone insults an entire region of our state?

  13. Jen Rice says:

    I am a native of Eastern Kentucky – well educated, have my teeth & wear shoes. U, Mr. Farmer will be defeated, HOORAY!

  14. Kevin Mollette says:

    The ONLY reason he’s apologizing is because its affecting him. He didnt apologize when this affected US Eastern Kentucky “inbred” people as he calls us. I will NEVER nor will anyone in my family EVER vote for this man. He should change his profession now because noone in eastern ky will ever vote for him. An apology because you are made to make it isnt acceptable or sincere. Its a way to get out of trouble and thats it. You are done sir. Public office over.

  15. Buck Feshear says:

    Prediction: despite all the faux outrage being posted here and elsewhere, the brainless Yellow Dog Democrats in EKY counties like Pike, Floyd, Knott, Breathitt, Harlan, etc. will vote for him just because he is a Democrat, like they are. These people would vote for Hitler or Mussolini if they ran on the Democratic ticket. They’ll just pull the straight ticket lever and depart the voting booth, leaving their coating of stupid all over the voting machine.

    And Richie Farmer has two agriculture degrees from UK. That more than qualifies him for this position.

  16. Tina says:

    The very fact that you are stunned that Eastern Kentucky people are offended, is one indication to your intelligence!

    Demeaning people by joke or not, never has gained respect, but it has lost elections.

    I can guarantee my vote will be going elsewhere.

  17. ekugrad says:

    At least Mr Farmer did not vote to raise out gas tax like Comer did in 2009 !!!