Corey Poitier

*An African American GOP congressional hopeful in Florida called President Obama “Buckwheat” while delivering a speech denouncing his health care reform bill.

“The press has run amok with this, and turned me into a racist,” said Corey Poitier, who was speaking to a group of Broward Republicans Monday night. The candidate complains that CNN, who reported on his racist comment, never bothered to interview him before running their story.

“I’ve never seen Buckwheat as a disparaging character. People love Buckwheat,” Poitier told the Miami Herald.

It goes without saying that the majority of African Americans find Buckwheat, the 1920s “Our Gang” and “Little Rascals” character, demeaning and offensive. Poitier, however, says he and his brother have in fact called each other “Buckwheat” as a way to clown the other for being foolish — essentially a substitute for the word “dummy.”

Attempting to prove his point, he looked at his skin and said: “This isn’t a spray tan. This is real.”

Poitier is one of nearly a dozen candidates vying to fill the open congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is running for a spot in the Senate. Poitier is the only Republican running to represent the heavily-Democratic district that takes in portions of Pembroke Pines, Miami Gardens and Miami Shores, among other areas.

To date, Poitier, who lives in Hollywood, Fla., said he has raised a modest $1,500 in campaign donations — not surprising given the widely-held expectation that Democrats will retain control of the seat come November.