(WOMENSENEWS)–South Carolina Democratic and Republican chairmen gave an on-stage lesson in leadership, values and taste to 800 high school seniors at the annual Boys State leadership program. Their topic: beer and girls, cold and hot.
Democrat Dick Harpootlian and Republican Henry McMaster spoke at the Citadel Military College on June 11, to young men at the Boys’ State leadership development program in Charleston, S.C. Their comments were reported by The State, the Boys State newspaper for the event.
Harpootlian said a $4,500 college scholarship provided by the program “can buy a lot of beer and girls,” the newspaper reported.
McMaster replied, “Democrats are for beer and girls. Republicans are for cold beer and hot girls,” it said.
McMaster, later reached by telephone and questioned, offered an apology for his statement, saying it was an “off the cuff” comment during “impromptu introductory remarks.”
“The more I thought about it, the more it sounded inappropriate,” he said.
Harpootlian said he has “no intention” of apologizing and that political correctness should not muzzle humor, according to The State. “Anyone that’s perturbed at this, I’d say, ‘Get a life,'” he was quoted as saying.
“If one of these kids had told me he was offended, that you all went over the line, I would have apologized. The only complaints I’m getting are from those who weren’t there,” said Harpootlian, again according to the newspaper.
Both men have been invited back next year to address the Boys’ State leadership program.
South Caroline ranks 50th in the number of women elected to statewide office, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington.–By Jessica McRorie.