Gretchen Whitmer describes Republican Ron Weiser calling her a witch a ‘sad moment in America’

‘They’re continuing to throw gas on this fire,’ says Michigan governor

James Crump@thejamescrump
Wednesday 31 March 2021 19:12
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Gretchen Whitmer hits out at GOP Chairman who called her a ‘witch’

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer has responded to comments last week from state Republican chair Ron Weiser, who referred to her and two other female officials as “witches”.

During an address at the North Oakland Republican Club in White Lake, Michigan, last Friday, the Michigan GOP chair said: “Our job now is to soften up those three witches, and to make sure that when we have good candidates to run against them, that they are ready for the burning at the stake.”

Mr Weiser, who is also a regent for the University of Michigan, was filmed making the controversial remarks in reference to the governor, secretary of state Jocelyn Benson and attorney general Dana Nessel, all of whom are Democrats.

Later on Friday, the discussion turned to two of Michigan’s US representatives, Peter Meijer and Fred Upton, who voted to impeach former president Donald Trump. An audience member asked Mr Weiser how to deal with the “witches in our own party”.

“Other than assassination, I have no other way other than voting them out,” he replied, in what were widely condemned comments.

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During an appearance on CNN on Wednesday, Ms Whitmer publicly spoke about Mr Weiser’s remarks for the first time, saying that it is “just really a sad moment in America where people who are leading are treated with such disrespect.”

Ms Whitmer then referred to the arrest of 13 men last year who allegedly planned to kidnap her prior to November 2020’s presidential election and overthrow Michigan’s government.

“We’ve seen threats come to those of us in office,” she said, adding that “we’re seeing people in court this week who are accused of plotting ‘to kidnap and kill me.”

The governor then condemned Mr Weiser and others, claiming that “they’re continuing to throw gas on this fire. And it is dangerous, it’s unacceptable and I’ve been, for almost a year now, calling on people to bring down the heat.”

After the chair’s comments made the news last weekend, members of the University of Michigan Board of Regents asked Mr Weiser to resign, but he refused before issuing an apology for his remarks.

“In an increasingly vitriolic political environment, we should all do better to treat each other with respect, myself included. I fell short of that the other night,” Mr Weiser said in a statement on Saturday.

He added: “I apologise to those I offended for the flippant analogy about three women who are elected officials and for the off-hand comments about two other leaders. I have never advocated for violence and never will.

“While I will always fight for the people and policies I believe in, I pledge to be part of a respectful political dialogue going forward.”

The Independent has contacted Mr Weiser for comment.

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