@MIHouseGOP members Victory, Pettalia, and Glardon: "Don't say we don't understand women." #mileg pic.twitter.com/zsifsqrZ1N
— Jake Neher (@GJNeher) June 5, 2014
According to Neher, Pettalia said it a few times.
Pettalia later said that the joke was taken out of context.
"During a short break on the House floor, Republican Rep. Gail Haines, a leading advocate on women's issues in the Legislature, gave some of us magazines to read and asked to take our photo with them," Petallia said in a statement.
Democrats in the Michigan legislature pounced though. The Michigan House Democrats' twitter account tweeted a picture of a number of lawmakers reading legislation rather than magazines.
Real Women read bills not fashion mags... @GJNeher @RashidaTlaib @RepVickiBarnett @MIHouseGOP #mileg pic.twitter.com/9Tq9fBLm1a
— MI House Democrats (@MIHouseDems) June 5, 2014
Michigan gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer (D) also weighed in.
.@eclectablog: No, Michigan GOP, you really don’t understand women http://t.co/sZHIV5iYa0
— Mark Schauer (@MarkSchauer) June 5, 2014
Republicans in Michigan have struggled on gender issues. Earlier in the year former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R), who's running for U.S. Senate, released an ad arguing she understands women's issues because she is a woman. That ad followed video footage surfacing of Land saying that women prefer flexibility in a job over salary.