A tweet sent from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's account that called Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton the c-word was sent by a staffer, his office said late Tuesday afternoon.
The tweet from the account @MillerForTexas had results from the Pennsylvania Auto Alliance poll showing candidate Donald Trump ahead of Clinton. In the tweet, Miller had the c-word in place of Clinton's name. The tweet was part of a series of tweets regarding poll results.
The tweet was taken down minutes after it was posted.
In a phone interview with KVUE's sister station WFAA, Miller said he asked his campaign staffers to "find some stuff and retweet it."
“They put some interesting polling numbers up but didn't read it close enough. It had a derogatory term in it," Miller said. "A term I would never use or never use and don't condone, a term that a Texas gentlemen would never use. And it got out. When we found out about it we took it down.”
Miller, a co-chair of Trump's agriculture advisory committee, called the word "deplorable" and "despicable." He added he never saw the tweet his staff sent.
“I'll just say this. The staff has been dealt with. And I bet it doesn't happen again," Miller said about disciplining his staff.
A Miller spokesperson also provided KVUE's sister station WFAA with the following statement:
“The campaign was retweeting information on Twitter today and inadvertently retweeted a tweet that they were not aware contained a derogatory term. The tweet was taken down as soon as possible. Commissioner Miller finds the term vulgar and offensive and apologizes to anyone who may have seen it.”
The episode drew a stern rebuke from fellow Republican, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
"The language is reprehensible and is an embarrassment," Abbott said in a statement to the Texas Tribune. "No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way."
KVUE's Jason Puckett spoke with frequent KVUE contributors Ed Espinoza, the Executive Director of Progress Texas and Mark Mackowiak, a GOP Consultant, to see the local response.
"If you are a republican voter, you have a lot of problems with your party right now," Espinoza said. "You have Donald Trump, who has a terrible history with women, and now you have elected officials like Sid Miller who are just continuing that narrative with actions like these."
"Look, I do not believe Ag. Commissioner Sid Miller would have tweeted this," Mackowiak said. "I agree with Governor Greg Abbott, there is no place for this kind of language, no Texas Gentleman would use this kind of language to talk about a woman. Certainly not someone who's been a public servant as long as Hillary Clinton has. She's someone's wife, she's someone's mother. You've got to think about it in those terms."