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Terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden would pull between 38 and 40 percent of the vote in South Carolina’s fifth congressional district if he ran as a Republican. That political prognostication comes courtesy of Wayne Wingate, communications director for embattled U.S. budget committee chairman John Spratt.

From The (Columbia, S.C.) Free Times:

“If Osama bin Laden ran in this district as a Republican, he would get 38 to 40 percent of the vote in any election year,” says Wayne Wingate, Spratt’s communications director, as he walks alongside the congressman at (York County’s annual Summerfest). “This is a very Republican district. So you’ve got that plus this tea party angst against any incumbent in the world right now.”

Good Lord … Spratt was “walking alongside” this guy? And he didn’t strangle him for saying something so stupid? Or at the very least pop him upside the head saying, “what is ya, ig-nrant?”

Not suprisingly, the bin Laden remark drew an immediate rebuke from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) – which is working to oust Spratt and several other Democratic incumbents who have been instrumental in advancing the agenda of President Barack Obama.

“It’s deplorable enough for John Spratt to compare his opponent to one of the most evil men on this planet,” said Andy Sere, communications director for the NRCC. “Even worse, though, is the utter contempt he showed for 40% of his constituents by equating them with terrorist-sympathizers. If his job-killing voting record left any doubt, this outrageous statement erases it: Spratt’s forgotten who he represents after three decades in Washington.”

We called Spratt’s opponent, fiscally-conservative S.C. Senator Mick Mulvaney, to see what he thought about being compared to a mass murderer, but didn’t get an immediate response.

He’s probably content to just let this one ride …

UPDATE: Oh yeah … no word yet on whether S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford – an admirer of bin Laden’s tactics – plans to weigh in on the controversy.