President Obama
President Obama REUTERS

Two top Republican leaders have apologized to President Obama for using racially charged language while criticizing the White House policies.

While Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado, used the term "tar baby" while he was discussing Obama’s debt plan in a radio talk show, former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan used the term "boy".

Both terms evoke racial prejudice in popular parlance and the politicians formally apologized to the President.

Here's what Lamborn said: “Even if some people say, ‘Well the Republicans should have done this or they should have done that,’ they will hold the president responsible. Now, I don’t even want to have to be associated with him. It’s like touching a tar baby and you get it, you’re stuck, and you’re a part of the problem now and you can’t get away.”

The term tar baby is a literary creation, which appeared in the Uncle Remus stories. It is a doll made of tar used to trap the rabbit Br'er. The more the rabbit kicks and punches the tar baby the more he gets entrapped. The term metaphorically refers to a sticky situation that gets worse as it is engaged more, it has also been seen as a term derogatory to the black people.

In the second incident, Pat Buchanan refereed to Obama as "your boy" in a talk show with Rev. Al Sharpton. When asked what he had said, Buchanan explained that he was trying to use a boxing analogy. Later he offered apologies and explained that he did not intend it as a racial slur.