Marilyn Davenport, an elected Orange County Republican Party official and Tea Party activist, spoke out for the first time since she sent an email to friends that depicted President Barack Obama and his parents as chimpanzees.
Her comments came after a local Republican Party chairman called for her resignation and for an ethics investigation into the incident.
Late Monday Davenport issued a statement via email asking for the country’s forgiveness:
"To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen this email I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior. I say unwise because at the time I received and forwarded the email, I didn't stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive.
"I am an imperfect Christian lady who tries her best to live a Christlike honoring life. I would never do anything to intentionally harm or berate others regardless of ethnicity. Everyone who knows me knows that to be true."
The initial email containing the caricature of President Obama prompted a public outcry over what many perceived to be a racist image.
Scott Baugh, chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, told committee members that despite her apology he still strongly condemned the original email and believes she should resign. Davenport told the OC Weekly she will not resign.