A Philadelphia newspaper quoted Gov. Bob Riley's policy director as saying the governor's tax and accountability plan is trailing in the polls because, "The people of Alabama are too stupid to know better."
The comment by policy director David Stewart appeared in an article in Tuesday's Inquirer about Alabama's Sept. 9 referendum on Riley's plan.
Press secretary David Azbell said if Stewart made the remark, it does not reflect the governor's feeling.
An opponent of Riley's tax plan, Christian Coalition of Alabama President John Giles, said Stewart should be dismissed immediately for his distasteful remarks.
Azbell said Stewart does not recall making the remark and would not be dismissed.
The press secretary said Stewart has apologized to the governor and apologizes to any Alabamian who was offended.