Michigan Republican Party leader Ron Weiser was quickly criticized Friday after a video surfacing of high-ranking Democratic officials in his state as “witches” referring to an assassination attempt while talking about two Republican Congressmen who voted for the charges against former President Donald J. Trump card.
The video was filmed Thursday at a Republican meeting in Clarkston, Michigan, where Mr. Weiser spoke about his party having to vote out three senior Democratic officials: Governor Gretchen Whitmer; Dana Nessel, the attorney general; and Jocelyn Benson, Secretary of State for Michigan. The Detroit News reported on and released the video on Friday.
In the video you can hear Mr. Weiser calling the officers the “three witches”.
“Our job now is to soften these three witches and make sure that we have good candidates who can compete against them, that they are ready to be burned at the stake,” said Mr. Weiser of the women who are all ready to take action against them again – election in 2022.
While discussing intra-party politics, Mr. Weiser joked about the assassination attempt in response to a crowd member’s question about the support of potential opponents facing up against representatives Fred Upton and Peter Meijer – the current G.O.P. Michigan Congressmen who voted in favor of riot indictment against Mr. Trump.
“Apart from the assassination, I have no other option but to vote them out,” he said.
Democratic officials responded to Mr Weiser’s comments on Friday, denouncing them as an example of dangerous rhetoric similar to that leading to a group of men planning to kidnap Ms. Whitmer ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
“Given the dramatic increase in death threats against elected officials in Michigan during the Trump administration, this type of rhetoric is destructive and downright dangerous,” Bobby Leddy, a spokesman for Ms. Whitmer, said in a statement.
Ms. Nessel and Ms. Benson both went to Twitter to specifically respond to Mr. Weiser’s comments.
“Witches who magically decrease the spread of Covid, increase voter turnout, and hold sexual predators accountable without the help of lawmakers?” Mrs. nettle said in a post this was accompanied by a picture of her, Mrs. Whitmer, and Mrs. Benson in witch hats. “Register me for this circle.”
Ms. Benson posted a picture of Dorthy and the good witch from “The Wizard of Oz” entitled “#newprofilepic”.
Telephone messages left for Mr. Weiser on Friday afternoon were not returned immediately.
On Friday, Ted Goodman, a spokesman for Michigan G.O.P., said that Mr Weiser’s controversial statements on Thursday had been misinterpreted.
“Chairman Weiser and our Executive Director Jason Roe have both made it very clear that it is up to the voters to choose the Republican Party candidates and suggest that anything else is dishonest and irresponsible,” Goodman said via email on mentioning the Attack at the event on Thursday. “The chairman also made personal donations to all Michigan Republican congressmen.”
Mr Goodman did not answer questions about Mr Weiser’s comments on Democratic officials.
Representative Meijer declined to comment on Friday evening. Phone and email messages Representative Upton’s office was not returned immediately.
In January, Mr. Weiser, who is also a member of the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents, aroused the ire of faculty members and students at the university who accused him of failing to denounce Mr. Trump after the January 6 attack on the Capitol The Detroit News. A petition With more than 5,000 signatures, the board members were requested to recall Mr. Weiser from his position or to resign.
Mr. Weiser was elected to the top Michigan Republican post in February, along with his co-chair, Meshawn Maddock. Their victories depended in part on their loyalty to Mr Trump.