Minnesota Republican state Sen. Dave Osmek on Tuesday defended comments he made last week to advocate for Jason Lewis’ Senate bid.
Speaking about the campaign on a podcast last Thursday, Osmek predicted that Lewis will “chop” Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) “into little pieces.”
“I believe I was clear that I do not speak for the campaign,” Osmek told TPM by email Tuesday. “These were my opinions. And I assume people understand that ‘chopping into pieces’ is a figure of speech.”
Though he has been identified as a Lewis campaign adviser in various reports, he said that he has “no responsibilities or position with the campaign.”
“Jason is incredibly well versed in many issues and will certainly show Smith for what she is,” he continued. “I am amused by the ‘case of vapors’ that liberals are having, considering the vile language used by DFLers against me and what they have said about my family,” a reference to the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party.
The Lewis and Smith campaigns did not immediately return requests for comment.
On the podcast, called “Up and At ‘Em,” Osmek also called Lewis a “bare knuckle brawler” whose campaign would have him “beatin’ the crap out of Tina Smith,” an “empty-headed pile of nothing.”
Lewis has his own rich history of offensive statements, including a lamentation that it’s no longer acceptable to call women “sluts” on his radio show in 2012.
“It used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard,” he said then. “We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?”
He has also mocked women for expressing trauma after unwanted sexual contact like grabbing or kissing, proclaiming: “Come on! She wasn’t raped.”
In a more lighthearted episode, Lewis also once filmed himself canvassing voters — outside of his district.
Listen to Osmek’s comments about Smith here.
h/t City Pages.