LANSING—Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tudor Dixon on Friday compared Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policies to the 2020 plot to kidnap the governor—remarks that have since been sharply criticized as making light of a serious and dangerous crime.
Dixon referred to the kidnapping plot at two separate events.
The first was at an event in Troy, while speaking for the need to cut business regulations:
At an event later Friday, Dixon referenced an appearance Whitmer made with President Joe Biden at the Detroit Auto Show—again taking an opportunity to make light of a criminal plot against the governor.
Two men were convicted last month of plotting to kidnap Whitmer because they were angry about pandemic-related restrictions she imposed. Prosecutors said they were part of a group who conspired to abduct Whitmer at her vacation home, and to blow up a bridge to disrupt police so they wouldn’t be caught. The FBI said it broke up the plot before it could occur.
The jury’s conviction came in a second trial against the two men, Barry Croft Jr. and Adam Fox. At an earlier trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, while two other men were acquitted. Their lawyers argued the men were big talkers who were set up by the FBI and said there was no actual plot.
The Democratic Governors Association called Dixon’s comments “utterly disqualifying for the role of Michigan governor,” while Whitmer’s campaign criticized Dixon for “dangerous rhetoric.”
“Threats of violence are no laughing matter, and the fact that Dixon spent the day making joke after joke about it shows that she is absolutely unfit to serve in public office,” Whitmer campaign spokeswoman Maeve Coyle tweeted.
Dixon was endorsed by former President Donald Trump during the GOP primary and is now trailing Whitmer in fundraising and support. She campaigned Friday with Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., who called the conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer “the fake kidnap plot orchestrated by the FBI.”
‘Gander Editor Kyle Kaminski contributed to this report.