Mayor Comes Under Fire Following Post About President, First Lady

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. (AP) -- The mayor of a Spokane suburb is refusing to resign despite posting racist comments about President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The Airway Heights City Council has asked Mayor Patrick Rushing to resign after the comments were posted on his personal Facebook page.

Rushing is refusing to resign, contending he didn't realize his comments were racist.

The comments compared the Obamas to monkeys.

According to KHQ, the Facebook post read: "Gorilla face Michelle, can't disagree with that. The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL."

Rushing told The Spokesman-Review ( ) that he is not a racist.

Deputy City Manager and Police Chief Lee Bennett says that's not enough. Bennett says that as an elected official Rushing needs to hold himself to a higher standard.

Bennett told The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, "He said he is not going to resign, and that this was playful banter between him and some friends."

According to minutes from the council meeting, the Spokesman-Review reported, Rushing said his remarks were "completely out of character" and that he would work to "get past this."

"I made a mistake. I owned up to my mistake," Rushing told the newspaper. "If I do resign that's admitting I'm a racist and I'm not."

The City Council has asked for a resolution expressing its dissatisfaction with the mayor.