Tudor Dixon, Michigan’s GOP nominee for governor, joked about a 2020 kidnapping plot against rival Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during a pair of campaign events Friday, sparking swift denunciations from Democrats.
“The sad thing is that Gretchen will tie your hands, put a gun to your head and ask if you are ready to talk. For someone so worried about getting kidnapped, Gretchen Whitmer sure is good at taking business hostage and holding it for ransom,” Dixon said at one event.
Later that day, in describing a recent appearance by Whitmer, Dixon said, “The look on her face was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is happening. I’d rather be kidnapped by the FBI.”
Democrats blasted Dixon for the mocking remarks, suggesting that making light of the kidnapping plot — which recently led to the conviction of two men for conspiring to kidnap Whitmer — was evidence that Dixon was “unfit for office.”
“Threats of violence and dangerous rhetoric undermine our democracy and discourage good people on both sides of the aisle at every level from entering public service,” said Maeve Coyle, a spokesperson for Whitmer. “Threats of violence — whether to Governor Whitmer or to candidates and elected officials on the other side of the aisle — are no laughing matter, and the fact that Tudor Dixon thinks it’s a joke shows that she is absolutely unfit to serve in public office.”
Sam Newton, a spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association, also condemned Dixon’s comments.
“Multiple people were convicted in a domestic terrorist plot to kidnap the Governor and Tudor Dixon thinks it’s a laughing matter,” Newton tweeted. “Dixon is too dangerous and completely unfit for office.”
Dixon’s comments come just weeks after a jury convicted two men described by prosecutors as anti-government extremists of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in 2020 in retaliation for Covid restrictions imposed during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
The jury also found the defendants, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., guilty of conspiring to obtain a bomb to blow up a bridge and hinder police if the kidnapping of Whitmer was successful.
Two other men have been acquitted, and two more pleaded guilty and testified for prosecutors.