April 20th, 2011, 3:27 pm
Posted by Martin Wisckol, Politics reporter

The Orange County GOP official who emailed a controversial photo depicting President Barack Obama as a chimp reiterated her apology today, but also said that she didn’t consider the rendering racist and that she wasn’t sure Obama is U.S. born.

“I guess we should know his origin, shouldn’t we?” Marilyn Davenport, an elected member of the county GOP’s governing Central Committee, told a phalanx of media at a press conference in her Fullerton driveway.

Asked about the certificate of live birth released by Obama, Davenport said, “I don’t know if that’s real or not.”

On Friday, Davenport fowarded an email showing a chimp family with Obama’s face photoshopped onto the juvenile chimp with the text, “Now you know why – no birth certificate” – a reference to those who believe Obama was not U.S. born and have asked for additional proof of his citizenship.

The email went to seven fellow members of the Central Committee, including county Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh. Baugh said the email was racist, called on Davenport to resign, and ordered the committee to perform an ethics review of the incident.

Davenport reiterated today that she had no plans to resign.

(Story text continues below video.)

At the press conference, Davenport read the apology she issued in written form on Monday. It said, in part, “I am an imperfect Christian lady who tries her best to live a Christ-like honoring life. I would never do anything to intentionally harm or berate others regardless of ethnicity.”

Fielding questions from reporters today, she said she now understood how the email could be considered offensive but that she didn’t find it racist.

“I considered it to be political satire,” she said. “I did not send it to people I thought would be offended….

“I think it is only racist when the intent in my heart is racist, and that was not my intent.”

She said that none of her black friends had complained about the email – but upon questioning, said she had not heard from any of her black friends about it and had not asked any of them what they thought.

To read entire interview, click here.