GOPer Robert “RJ” Regan won a special Republican primary election last week and will advance to the special general election for an open Michigan state House seat in May.
After winning the special election by just 81 votes, Regan participated in a panel discussion via Facebook livestream over the weekend with the conservative group “Michigan Rescue Coalition,” which believes that the 2020 election was stolen from President Trump. The beginning of the panel discussion focused on what, if any, actions could be taken to continue challenging the 2020 presidential election results in the state of Michigan. One panelist, a Republican strategist named Amber Harris, argued that it was “too late” to continue the Big Lie crusade in the state. She suggested Michigan Republicans should instead focus on ensuring future elections are legitimate.
That’s when newly-relevant Regan cut in with some horrific commentary.
“Having three daughters, you know, I tell my daughters, ‘Well, if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.’ So that’s not how we roll, that’s not how I won this election, we go right at it,” he said, before suggesting that his win in the state’s special Republican primary election was similar to the Biblical story of David and Goliath. “We do want to decertify this election and we do want it returned to its rightful owner.”
The remarks were seemingly meant to serve as some demented illustration for why he and other non-RINOs in the Michigan state legislature (if he wins the next special election for the seat in May) should continue fighting to decertify the 2020 election results, even if all it does is make noise as other Republicans (“RINOs,” in his words) attempt to move on.
At least two panelists appeared utterly shocked at the remarks, including host Adam de Angeli, the founder of the conservative group, who said, “let me give you some friendly advice, buddy” before reminding him he’s a politician. “Look, I can say whatever is on my mind because I’m not on the ballot, you are. … Just so you know, we’re streaming on YouTube, probably not for much longer after what Robert just said.”
“In all fairness, that was a shameful comment,” GOP strategist Harris said. “Advice to give to your daughter, don’t do that. Fight all the time.”
De Angeli then cut in seemingly attempting to clarify Regan’s disturbing comparison. “I get it,” Harris said. “Shameful.”
The photo at the top of this article is a screenshot of Harris’ face after Regan made the remark, clearly trying to hold in an outburst while Regan finished his diatribe.
Regan has run for a state House seat multiple times, in 2014, 2018 and 2020. His 2020 run made national news, ironically, after one of his daughters urged Michigan voters to not support her dad.
“If you’re in Michigan and 18+ pls for the love of god do not vote for my dad for state rep. Tell everyone,” his daughter wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
Regan has also made a slew of problematic and outright offensive comments in recent years. First of all, he is a COVID denier and QAnon supporter and even raised a bizarre/debunked QAnon conspiracy about Russia invading Ukraine in order to destroy bioweapon-manufacturing “labs” (somehow all tied to Anthony Fauci) during this same panel discussion on Sunday. Additionally, in 2021 he posted on Instagram arguing that feminism is a “Jewish program to degrade and subjugate white men.” Most recently he suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was somehow a “hoax” and a “fake war just like the fake pandemic.”
His recent comments about rape have been met with justifiable outrage from all corners of the political spectrum.
“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 who is the executive director for the Betsy DeVos-backed Michigan Freedom Fund, a powerful conservative group in the state. “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.”
His Democratic opponent Carol Glanville said she was “stunned” by the remarks: “I did not think I would need to clearly state on the campaign trail that rape is never inevitable, acceptable, or warranted and is the worst type of personal violation anyone could ever experience. In empathy and compassion, I stand with survivors everywhere while defending human rights,” she said.
Regan has since claimed that his comments were meant to communicate that “nothing is inevitable” and then made the canned suggestion that sometimes his rhetoric isn’t “as smooth and polished as the politicians are because I’m not a politician.”
“I’m working on it,” Regan told local news outlet Bridge Michigan. “The only reason the 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.”
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