Robert Regan, under fire for rape comments, also espoused QAnon, violence
LANSING — The Michigan Republican Party on Tuesday called on GOP state House candidate Robert “RJ” Regan to apologize for crass remarks about rape, hours before videos surfaced of him advocating violence and the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Michigan GOP Chair Ron Weiser issued a joint statement Tuesday criticizing Regan for a series of offensive comments, his most recent being that he told his daughters “if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.”
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“Mr. Regan’s history of foolish, egregious and offensive comments, including his most recent one are simply beyond the pale," said Weiser. "We are better than this as a party and I absolutely expect better than this of our candidates.”
The condemnation preceded new revelations about Regan, including videos he posted online last year that featured Dr. Anthony Fauci next to a noose, suggesting COVID-19 vaccines were part of a planned government "genocide" and endorsing the widely debunked QAnon conspiracy theory.
The Grand Rapids resident, who scored an upset win last week in a special primary election for the solidly Republican 74th District in west Michigan, has also called the Ukraine war a “fake war just like the fake 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.
Kent County GOP Chair Rob VerHeulen, a former state lawmaker who represented the 74th state House district, said he is appalled by Regan’s claims.
“These comments are offensive, dangerous and unbecoming of any candidate for public office," VerHeulen said in a statement. "The Kent County Republican Party stands with the Michigan Republican Party and I believe Mr. Regan owes an apology immediately.”
Bridge Michigan couldn’t reach Regan on Tuesday. He previously told Bridge that “my words aren’t as smooth and polished as the politicians are because I’m not a politician. I’m working on it.”
Regan made the rape comments during a Sunday livestream as he discussed his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. On Tuesday, Media Matters for America, a left-leaning nonprofit, uncovered videos that Regan posted to the right-wing Rumble video site.
In one post, Regan affixed his campaign logo and website address to a far-right video, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Genocide.” The song is a parody of the Christmas classic, questions the COVID pandemic and ends with photos of Fauci and others next to nooses and the line “One day, we’ll see these bastards swing.”
Regan added his own ending to the original video: An image of two young children holding one of his state House campaign signs.
In another video posted in February 2021, Regan explained and personally endorsed QAnon, a wide-ranging conspiracy theory alleging world governments are controlled by a shadowy cabal of pedophiles who worked to undermine Trump and steal the 2020 election.
"What it's doing is it's exposing the depth and breadth of the corruption that's been going on in the government, not just financial corruption by the (child sex) trafficking that's been going on and the drugs and the murders," Regan said.
"I just keep getting encouraged each week that more and more and more of this is in fact true."
Linguistic experts believe the cryptic message board posts from a user called "Q" are actually the handiwork of a South African software developer named Paul Furber and one of the message board hosts, Ron Watkins, who is now running for Congress in Arizona.
But in his video, Regan falsely claimed the "Q Drops" may be part of a "military operation" that is part of Trump's "war with the deep state."
Interpreting the Q posts is like reading the Bible, he said. "You study the Scripture on your own, you figure out what this means. You observe, you interpret, and you apply."
Regan, who has posted pictures of himself outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, also falsely claimed in the same video that the riots that delayed congressional certification of the presidential election that day were a "false flag" designed to make Trump supporters look bad.
Regan ran for the House seat in 2014, 2018 and 2020, when he made national news because his daughter urged voters to oppose him.
His win last week means he is now considered the May general election favorite against Democrat Carol Glanville in the conservative district. The winner will fill a vacant seat to serve in the state House through the end of this year.
The Michigan Republican Party initially praised Regan's primary win, but GOP leaders have changed their tone in recent days as reporters, online sleuths and watchdogs have unearthed a trove of controversial and offensive comments Regan has made online.
Verbal condemnation is not enough, according to the liberal Progress Michigan PAC, which on Tuesday urged Republican leadership in the state House to "refuse to seat Regan if he wins the election," a rare step that would deny him a role in the Legislature even if he triumphs in May.
State Sen. Mark Huizenga, a Walker Republican who had represented the 74th District until winning election to the upper chamber in November, called Regan's rape comments "revolting and immoral."
"His statements about Russia’s unprovoked attack of a sovereign country are contrary to our own nation’s values, and his anti-Semitic posts claiming Jewish people control the banks and were behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks are shameful and disgusting," Huizenga said in a statement.
But at least one other Republican state House candidate has come to Regan's defense. Michael Shallal of Sterling Heights, who is running in the 57th District, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that media coverage of Regan’s comments is deceitful and demonizing.
Shallal also called Regan a “constitutional conservative representing the only type of Republican that can transition America from globalist managed ruin to restoration.”
“The investment level in deceit evidences they will engage in character-assassination to silence those speaking truth and threatening their stranglehold on power existing at the expense of our state and nation,” Shallal wrote.
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