Republican Ron Weiser, head of the Michigan GOP, is being heavily criticized online after footage of a recent meeting of Republicans leaked online.
In the video, Weiser described Democratic Michigan Governor Gretch Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as "three witches" his party should prepare to "burn at the stake."
Weiser made many passing, misogynist references to the "three witches," saying at one point:
"Our job now is to soften up those three witches and make sure that when we have good candidates to run against them that they are ready for the burning at the stake."
"Maybe the press heard that, too."
The press did, in fact, hear Weiser's comments and reported on them.
In response, Weiser claimed his words were taken "out of context."
Witches who magically decrease Covid spread, increase voter turnout and hold sexual predators accountable without a… https://t.co/HeFKzO9SR4— Dana Nessel (@Dana Nessel) 1616777528.0
who votes for these jerks? https://t.co/kkdFPft2QS— Barbara Bryniarski (@Barbara Bryniarski) 1616961723.0
Weiser's comments were especially irresponsible in the eyes of many after last year's attempt to kidnap and murder Governor Whitmer, which was egged on by then-President Trump.
Witches because they are caring females? This guy has a Mommy problem! https://t.co/H1mkugxWOy— Paula Welch 🇺🇸 (@Paula Welch 🇺🇸) 1616952074.0
Is it 1692? You know, the year most Americans remember as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of religious ex… https://t.co/iPl6aZN7OG— Senator Winnie Brinks (@Senator Winnie Brinks) 1616811763.0
Many alumni of the University of Michigan, where Weiser is an elected Regent, called on the University to disassociate itself from the politician.
Beyond removing Weiser from the Board or Regents, the Regents need to wipe his name off any & all buildings, halls,… https://t.co/iOMz2xy3M1— Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (@Dr. Abdul El-Sayed) 1616807675.0
What does the @UMich think of this @fordschool @JordanAckerMI https://t.co/hX0qkI77Ty— Jonathan Beam (@Jonathan Beam) 1616907479.0
As a human being I’m appalled. As a UM grad I’m furious this kind of scumbag is a regent to my alma mater. @UMich n… https://t.co/opmGpGSgvf— Van (@Van) 1616888415.0
Weiser also made a reference to assassination when asked about getting rid of Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump, saying:
"Ma'am, other than assassination, I have no other way other than voting out. OK? "
"You people have to go out there and support their opponents. You have to do what you need to get out the vote in those areas. That's how you beat people."
It is rather reckless for a GOP official to be mentioning assassination as a solution to remove elected officials,… https://t.co/hvXO44sk4g— Cascada_Pro_Voting_Rights (@Cascada_Pro_Voting_Rights) 1616791118.0
Hate Rules The @GOP. https://t.co/sc2eDflRkv— gaynycdad (@gaynycdad) 1617034386.0
It was almost impossible to miss the sexism in Weiser's description of his female, Democratic opponents.
Many online saw this insensitivity as a natural extension of the Republican brand.
The hate speech and threats of violence run through the Republican Party. #GOPBetrayedMichigan #ResignRonWeiser https://t.co/KgWoDl0mrf— L. Macpherson (@L. Macpherson) 1616934469.0
The GOP sure spends an inordinate amount of time spreading violence and threatening others. This tool should lose… https://t.co/1Ekb4VnPjO— JT's World (@JT's World) 1616944087.0
Misogyny is not acceptable, @RonaldWeiser (Michigan GOP Chairman). Your lame excuses that calling women "witches" w… https://t.co/XNDX1HHpW5— "Translator" 2000 💉 (@"Translator" 2000 💉) 1616872979.0
Benson's spokesperson, Tracy Wimmer, issued a statement saying:
"Secretary Benson and her colleagues have experienced firsthand how this rhetoric is later used as justification for very real threats made against government officials, election administrators and democracy itself."
"Any leader who does not resoundingly denounce this kind of behavior and attitude is complicit in their silence."