Coors Under Fire for Kerry-KKK Quip

Democrats are furious about a statement by Republicans saying that comparing one of their candidates to presidential candidate John Kerry (search) would be worse than comparing someone to the Ku Klux Klan (search).

The dispute started when The New York Times inadvertently published a photo of Republican Senate candidate Pete Coors (search) above a story about a KKK member who murdered a black sharecropper. The Times published a correction Saturday.

Cinamon Watson, spokeswoman for Coors, said the error was "so outrageous it's kind of funny. It could have been worse. Pete could have been identified as John Kerry."

Chris Gates, chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party, demanded an apology. He said Democrats are "out there campaigning positively on the issues, and the Republicans can't help but resort to the lowest level of insult and name-calling."

Kerry spokesman Phil Singer said the comment was "the kind of thing people hate about politics."

Coors, head of the Coors brewing empire, is seeking the Republican nomination to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who is retiring.