After calling three of Michigan’s top elected officials “witches,” state Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser refuses to resign from a position on the University of Michigan board of trustees, saying that his words were “taken out of context”.
“I will not be resigning from the University of Michigan, and our goal in the Michigan Republican Party remains the same – to win in 2022,” Weiser, who serves on the university’s board of directors, said on Twitter Friday.
Wesier’s defense comes after a backlash to the language he used at a North Oakland Republican Club meeting on victory in 2022, when he said: “Our job now is to soften these three witches and have good candidates against them, be prepared for the fire. at the stake. “
By “those three witches,” Weiser referred to Michigan’s top elected women: Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The GOP chairman’s words come after threats of violence against Whitmer escalated, as several people have reportedly been arrested for plotting to kidnap the governor. The Whitmer administration has also faced allegations of voter fraud after President Joe Biden won the state in the 2020 general election.
According to a Facebook video of the meeting cited by the Detroit Free PressWeiser continued to use threatening words to answer a question about what action the GOP should take regarding Michigan Representatives Peter Meijer and Fred Upton, two Republican members of Congress who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
“Ma’am, apart from assassination, I have no other way but to vote,” Weiser said. “You people have to come out and support their opponents. You have to get people to vote in those areas. This is how you beat people.”
Weiser, who has donated more than $ 100 million to the University of Michigan, defended his actions via Twitter on Friday.
“I made comments that were clearly taken out of context,” he wrote. “Although I should have chosen my words more carefully, anyone who knows me understands that I will never advocate violence. I spoke personally with the representative (s) Upton and Meijer. My spontaneous comments did under closer scrutiny from the media and leftists in the past 24 hours as the governor’s handling of COVID, the deaths it has caused in nursing homes and unemployment issues impact too many Michiganders who work hard to date. “
A spokesperson for Benson called Weiser’s language “horribly reckless and unreasonable,” and pressure has been mounting since Weiser’s refusal to step down. Whitmer and Nessel also responded to Weiser’s statement.
“Witches who magically reduce the spread of Covid, increase turnout, and hold sexual predators accountable without the help of the legislature? Join me in this clan. Do better, Michigan GOP,” Nessel wrote in a post Twitter.
Whitmer posted on Twitter a quote from a book that read: “For a long time a certain group of men called women like me ‘witches’ to silence and discredit us.”
University council member Jordan Acker said Weiser’s words were “foul-mouthed misogynistic terms,” FOX 2 reported.
“For Ron Weiser to speak in that kind of language, knowing that these men were hunted down by Trump supporters on Capitol Hill just two months ago, it’s below him as party chairman, c ‘is below him as regent of the University of Michigan, “Acker says.
Another board member, Mark Bernstein, said Weiser’s comments were “blatantly sexist” and that his resignation should not be a matter of partisanship.
“Our job as regents is to be responsible administrators of the University of Michigan,” Bernstein said. “In doing so, we must protect democracy, honor public service and support our students. Regent Weiser has failed to do so. Our university and the people of this state deserve better. He should resign.”
Calls for Weiser’s resignation have also come from outside politics and academics. Michigan musician Jeff Scott, who graduated from college in 1982, tweeted a statement he sent to board member Dr. Mark Schlissel calling for Weiser’s “immediate removal” from the board. . Scott called Weiser’s comments “opposed” to the Michigan administration and the university, and pleaded with the board to act against Weiser’s “ignorant” comments.
“What impact will Weiser have on the university and its image for an additional $ 100 million?”
Newsweek contacted the University of Michigan for comment.