PLYMOUTH, Mass. - A Republican sheriff in Massachusetts is defending a joke he told at a St. Patrick's Day breakfast in which Abraham Lincoln visits President Barack Obama in a dream and suggests he go to the theater.
Lincoln was assassinated in a theater, and Democratic critics say even a joke suggesting the current president might get shot was inappropriate, especially from a public safety official.
Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr. made the joke Sunday at the heavily Republican breakfast.
He told the Patriot Ledger of Quincy on Tuesday the uproar over an old joke is "absurd."
He says it was no different than Democrats joking about former President George W. Bush going hunting with former Vice President Dick Cheney, who accidentally wounded a hunting partner in 2006.
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Two people familiar with the Senate immigration deliberations say the White House has suggested to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy that it would be best to put off a controversy over gay marriage until a bill goes before the full Senate.
Authorities are looking for an inmate who walked away from Lebanon Correctional Institute around 12:10 p.m. on Tuesday