MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Republican congressional hopeful Jim Hagedorn is standing by his years-old blog posts where he lambasted women, American Indians, gays and national political figures.

The posts were written between 2002 and 2008 on a now-defunct blog titled ``Mr. Conservative,'' according to the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1p2JOqu ).

In a 2002 ``masterpiece analysis,'' Hagedorn called two female senators from Washington ``bimbos in tennis shoes.'' In 2008, he thanked Sen. John McCain for picking former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate on the Republican ticket and commented on Palin's appearance.

``On behalf of all red-blooded American men: THANK YOU SENATOR McCAIN, SARAH'S HOT!'' Hagedorn wrote.

He also railed against gay marriage and accused Democrats in South Dakota of using deceased American Indians' names on absentee ballots.

``Leave it to liberals to ruin John Wayne's wisdom of the only good Indian being a dead Indian,'' he wrote in 2002.

Hagedorn defended his opinions as humorous and satirical in nature, saying he criticized politicians of all stripes, not just Democrats. The writings were first reported by politics blog Bluestem Prairie and later picked up by the liberal Mother Jones news site.

``Over the years, I wrote political commentary . and poked fun at national politicians,'' Hagedorn said. ``This is old stuff that's been out there'' for years, he said.

Asked whether he owed voters an apology, he said he did not.

Hagedorn is running against four-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat.

State Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey said in a statement that the party stands by Hagedorn.

``Tim Walz has led Minnesotans in the First Congressional District in the wrong direction. . We need new leadership to reform Washington and get Minnesota headed in the right direction,'' Downey said.

The Walz campaign did not respond to a request seeking comment, and instead the state's DFL Party issued a statement.

``Mr. Hagedorn's outrageous, offensive comments make him unfit for office,'' said Ken Martin, the state's chair, in a statement. ``Making racist, sexist statements from behind a computer screen in Washington is shameful.''