AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller won't apologize for a shared post on his Facebook page that appears to suggest using an atomic bomb on the Muslim population, a spokesman for the Republican said Monday.
The post shows a mushroom cloud and says Japan has "been at peace" with the U.S. since the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki. The end of the caption reads, "It's time we made peace with the Muslim world."
The post was shared on Miller's Facebook page over the weekend but was removed Monday. Todd Smith, a political consultant for Miller, said he didn't know why the post was taken down but said critics outraged over the content should instead be demanding apologies from Islamic terrorists, Iranian leaders and President Barack Obama for their words and actions.
"We think those are all issues that deserve an apology and are much more serious than a thought-provoking Facebook post," Smith said.
Miller, a professional rodeo calf-roper and former state lawmaker, is currently in China for what his office described as a trade mission. He previously made headlines for repealing a ban on deep fryers at schools shortly after taking office in January.
Smith said Miller didn't personally share the post but won't begin a "witch hunt" to find out who on his staff did. He noted the positive comments the post generated and said that while Miller wouldn't take the position that an atomic bomb should be dropped on the Muslim world, the elected state executive has never been shy about what he believes are serious threats.
The Texas Democratic Party condemned the promoted post as hate speech and xenophobic.
In January, a Republican state lawmaker instructed aides to ask Muslims who visited her office at the Texas Capitol to renounce Islamic terrorists and publicly declare their allegiance to America.
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