SMU's Texas College GOP chair resigns after being seen in disparaging YouTube video
Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 16:11
Charles McCaslin, SMU junior and chairman of Texas College Republicans, has resigned as chairman after a video was posted of him saying he and Alex Schriver, a candidate for national CR chairman, got "hammered" and he "hooked up" with a girl. He then called Schriver's opponents "nerds" and "fags."
The statements were given in a speech at an after party for the Texas College Republicans convention in the form of an endorsement speech for Schriver, the current vice-chairman of national CR. At the end of the speech, Schriver stands up, holds up his glass and says, "To Charlie!"
The video was posted on YouTube by InnovateCRNC, the committee supporting Schriver's opponent for national chairman, Jonathan Snyder, a student at Ohio State University, who is campaigning under the "Move CRNC Forward" committee.
McCaslin, a Hunt Scholar at SMU, formally resigned in a letter to Texas CR.
"I cannot continue my work for the party in this capacity," said McCaslin in the letter. "The mistakes I have made have put my colleagues, my friends and school in harm's way and they do not deserve to be part of such a bitter cycle."
McCaslin said that the only way he can "continue to fight" for the Republican party was through his resignation.
"I have committed the last year of my life to the betterment of College Republicans," the letter reads. "This has been the experience of a lifetime, in that I have [strived] not only to be effective but to always do the right thing. In this instance, my actions were wrong."
Before his resignation, McCaslin issued a statement of apology which was emailed to this paper. He plans to email it to the members of national CR.
In the apology, McCaslin says that the speech has "not reflective" of his "true feelings towards these groups," and that he recognized "the inappropriateness of the comments that were made."
"These actions are mine and mine alone and do not represent anyone else's views," he said in the apology. "My statements especially should not reflect on the Move CRNC Forward campaign."
Chad Cohen, the president of SMU CR, said that neither he, nor other members of SMU CR were present at the time of McCaslin's statements and that the after party was in no way affiliated with SMU CR.
"Neither myself nor SMU College Republicans agree with or support Charlie's comments about women and members of the gay community and we condemn those statements as offensive and wrong," said Cohen. "He was speaking for himself as an individual and for no one else."
This video has unleashed intense controversy over the already heated battle for the position of national CR chairman. The race will be decided at the July 30 CR convention in Washington D.C.
In a statement on his website, Snyder said he was "shocked by the actions of Alex Schriver" and said Schriver lacked "the necessary leadership and character to head the College Republican National Committee."
Snyder then calls for Schriver's resignation saying, "having a Chairman who is willing to accept and then toast degrading remarks about women, homophobic slurs and juvenile behavior against anyone is unacceptable."
According to the blog "The Other McCain," Schriver issued a statement via email. He called McCaslin's speech "inappropriate and highly offensive" and said "it is possible that some could incorrectly interpret my actions to be supportive" of the remarks.
The Texas College Republicans released a statement Thursday saying they do not condone McCaslin's remarks.
"We wish to reassure our supporters that this organization does not support any of his statements made in the video, and this issue will be handled accordingly and with the utmost care," the statement said. "TCR has always prided itself on being an organization of principle, strong leadership and integrity; and it is unfortunate that Chairman McCaslin's behavior has affected TCR. He spoke while inebriated and in a way that does not reflect the values or beliefs of TCR or Chairman McCaslin's years of involvement with TCR."