- The leader of Michigan’s Republican Party apologized after calling female Democratic lawmakers “witches.”
- Michigan GOP chair Ron Weiser made the comments during a local Republican meeting Thursday.
- Weiser also joked about GOP members of Congress who voted to impeach Trump being assassinated.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The chair of Michigan’s Republican Party has apologized after calling female Democratic lawmakers “witches” and joking about the assassination of GOP congressmen who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Ron Weiser, the chair of the Michigan GOP, made the comments during a Northern Oakland Republican Club meeting Thursday. They were first reported by The Detriot News.
“Our job now is to soften up those three witches and make sure that we have good candidates against them, that they are ready for the burning at the stake,” Weiser said in a video recording of the meeting.
He was referring to Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and attorney-general Dana Nessel.
When subsequently asked about the political prospects of two Michigan GOP congressmen who voted to impeach former President Trump, Weisel told a member of the audience: “Other than assassination, I have no other way other than voting.”
Weiser on Sunday apologized for his remarks after initially refusing to do so, but said he would not resign.
“In an increasingly vitriolic political environment, we should all do better to treat each other with respect, myself included,” he said in a statement provided to Fox News Detriot on Sunday.
“I fell short of that the other night. I apologize 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.”
In a previous statement issued on Friday, Weiser said he would not resign as GOP or from the University of Michigan, where he a member of the Board of Regents.
-Ron Weiser (@RonaldWeiser) March 26, 2021
A spokesman for Gov. Whitmer called Weiser’s remarks “destructive and downright dangerous” in a statement provided to Fox News Detriot.
“We saw this firsthand when Republican legislators met with the very militias that tried to kidnap and kill the governor, and when Republican party leaders helped organize the January 6th protest at the U.S. Capitol building.”
A group of Michigan men were arrested in October last year after the FBI said they conspired to kidnap Whitmer from her north Michigan holiday home.
-Gretchen Whitmer (@gretchenwhitmer) March 26, 2021
Whitmer also referenced Weiser’s comments on Twitter on Friday, referencing a quote from author Lindsay West which said: “For a long time, a certain set of men have called women like me ‘witches’ to silence and discredit us.”