Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon compared the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the governor’s handling of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic during two campaign events Friday.
“The sad part is that Gretchen will tie your hands, put a gun to your head and ask if you’re ready to talk,” Dixon said. said during her speech in Troy. “For someone who worries so much about kidnapping, Gretchen Whitmer sure knows how to take a business hostage and hold it for ransom.”
Maeve Coyle, a spokeswoman for the Whitmer campaign, Whitmer’s campaign responded for comment by saying threats of violence against any official, regardless of party, are “not funny.”
“Government Whitmer has faced serious threats to her safety and life, and she is grateful to law enforcement and prosecutors for their tireless work,” Coyle said in a statement. “The fact that Tudor Dixon thinks this is a joke shows that she is completely unfit for public office.”
Hours later in Muskegon, Dixon said it was no joke.
“If you were afraid of that, you should know what it’s like to have your life taken from you,” Dixon said, before quickly clarifying, “It was a joke, what I just said. For the media to understand that, that’s what the joke is.”
Dixon later told reporters, “I think when you get attacked every day, you have to have a little bit of levity and we can still have fun.”
Fourteen people have been arrested on state and federal charges in connection with the 2020 conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer. Two were convicted by jury, two pleaded guilty, and two others were acquitted of federal charges.
Dixon said that, on the contrary, the press did not provide fair coverage of President Joe Biden’s comments about her.
“It doesn’t matter that Joe Biden came in here and called me all kinds of names and put my life in danger,” Dixon said sarcastically. “It doesn’t matter. They will never talk about it.”
It was not immediately clear what these remarks were. Dixon’s company did not respond to a request for more information.
Dixon appeared in Troy with former President Donald Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway on Friday morning, then appeared with Conway and Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., in Muskegon. Several hundred participants of the outdoor event.
Conway called Dixon “a conscientious badass.” Whitmer’s response to COVID-19, Conway said, meant “you can smoke your weed, but you can’t cut your weed,” referring to the fact that marijuana dispensaries have been able to stay open as mainstream businesses, but home improvement stores could not.
Trump followed Dixon to Muskegon and also referred to the conspiracy against Whitmer, calling it a “bogus kidnapping plot orchestrated by the FBI.” An FBI agent and an informant were central to the prosecution’s case, and the perspective mirrors arguments from lawyers who argued that federal agents caught the alleged conspirators by creating the plot themselves.
Whitmer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has taken center stage in Dixon’s campaign in recent days. On Wednesday, she met with business owners who resisted public health orders that required businesses to close in early 2020.
Trump offered a free speech to the audience, but ended the message by saying that Dixon represents an opportunity for the state to turn the page.
“You have an opportunity to do something special here in Michigan,” Trump said. “I think Tudor can do an incredible job. I think she understands the issues. She understands what’s going on, and that’s where (Democrats) are so lost on the other side.”
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