Robert Regan tries to explain rape comments, saying ‘my words aren’t smooth’
LANSING — A Michigan Republican House candidate under fire for saying he told his daughters “if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it” claims he’s only guilty of using a bad analogy.
Robert “RJ” Regan of Grand Rapids, who is favored to win the solidly Republican 74th District in west Michigan after an upset in a special election last week, made the remark during a livestream Sunday hosted by a conservative group, The Coalition to Rescue Michigan, about his pursuit to decertify the 2020 presidential election.
He told Bridge Michigan on Monday that his remark only meant that “nothing is inevitable.”
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“Sometimes, my words aren’t as smooth and polished as the politicians are because I’m not a politician. I’m working on it,” Regan said. “The only reason the (politically) left trolls attack you is because they know you're directly over the target, dropping direct hits on an issue. If you're not scoring hits, they leave you alone.”
Both Democrats and Republicans, however, are condemning Regan for his comments, as well as statements calling the Ukraine war a “fake war just like the fake pandemic.” He has also questioned the legitimacy of the coronavirus pandemic and shared a meme claiming that feminism is “a Jewish program to degrade and subjugate white men.”
In other social media posts, Regan shared conspiracy theories claiming that Jewish people were behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and presidential assassinations and control the banks as well as the media.
The conservative Michigan Freedom Fund said in a statement Monday that Regan’s rape comments are “dehumanizing” and “disgusting.”
"RJ Regan’s disgusting and dehumanizing comments on the horror of sexual assault along with his support of murderous dictator Vladimir Putin are despicable and completely disqualify him from holding public office," said Tori Sachs, executive director of the group. “I teach my four young daughters to stand up for themselves, to know their worth, and to fight back and speak out against creeps like Regan. RJ Regan doesn’t belong anywhere near the state Capitol, and that is why we endorsed and supported his opponent.”
Michigan GOP Co-chair Meshawn Maddock said Regan’s rape comments are “offensive and disappointing.”
“I’d like to think he didn’t mean what he said,” Maddock said. “You know, if I could control what our candidates say all the time, that would be a great thing. But I can’t.”
While discussing whether Republicans should consider pursuing the decertification of the 2020 election, Robert Regan—now favorite to win a Michigan House seat in May—reveals the analogy he uses against complacency: “If rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.” pic.twitter.com/88SgO4udYC— Left of Center MI (@leftofcentermi) March 7, 2022
But Maddock said the online condemnation of Regan is a “distraction” to “keep us away from (focusing on Gov. Gretchen) Whitmer's disastrous policies.”
“The voters aren't going to buy that. We're going to keep them laser-focused,” Maddock said.
The Michigan Jewish Democrat Chairman Noah Arbit issued a statement Monday called Regan a “noxious, vile, antisemite, misogynist, and white supremacist” and called on the state GOP to force him off the ballot.
“Robert Regan is unfit to represent so much as an insect, let alone an entire district in the people’s House,” Arbit said.
Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, issued a statement Monday calling on the Michigan GOP to denounce Regan’s remarks and make clear that the 2020 presidential election will not be decertified.
“This type of language is disgusting and Michigan Republicans have got to stand up and denounce Regan’s remarks and what his candidacy represents,” Barnes said.
Regan ran for the House seat in 2014, 2018 and 2020, when he made national news because his daughter urged voters to oppose him. He’ll face Democrat Carol Glanville in the May general election. The winner replaces Mark Huizenga, who won election to the state Senate last fall.
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