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Michigan governor hopeful makes light of Whitmer kidnap plot

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Lansing, Michigan (AFP) – The Republican candidate for governor of Michigan on Friday compared Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s policies to the 2020 plot to kidnap the Democratic incumbent, comments that Democrats criticized as highlighting a serious and serious crime.

Theodore Dixon referred to the kidnapping plot in two separate events.

“The sad thing is Gretchen is going to tie your hands, put a gun to your head and ask if you’re ready to talk,” Dixon told a crowd at an event in Troy while speaking about the need to repeal labor regulations. “For someone who is very concerned about being kidnapped, Gretchen Whitmer is definitely good at taking a business hostage.”

At a later event on Friday, Dixon noted Whitmer’s appearance with President Joe Biden at the Detroit Auto Show.

“I’ll tell you the look on her face, she was like, ‘Oh my God, this is happening. ‘I’d rather be kidnapped by the FBI,’ said Dixon.

Two men were convicted last month of plotting to kidnap Whitmer because they were outraged by the pandemic-related restrictions it had imposed. Prosecutors said they were part of a group that plotted to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home and blow up a bridge to disable police so they wouldn’t be arrested. The FBI said it broke up the plot before it happened.

The jury’s conviction came in a second trial against the two men, Barry Croft Jr. and Adam Fox. In an earlier trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, while two other men were acquitted. Their lawyers argued that the men were top spokespeople created by the FBI, and argued that there was no actual conspiracy.

The Democratic Governors Association called Dixon’s comments “totally exclude the role of the Michigan governor,” while Whitmer’s campaign criticized Dixon for “dangerous rhetoric.”

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“Threats of violence are no laughing matter, and the fact that Dixon has spent the day joking after banter about it shows she is completely unfit to serve in public office,” Whitmer campaign spokeswoman Maeve Coyle wrote on Twitter.

Dixon was endorsed by former President Donald Trump during the Republican primary and is now trailing Whitmer in fundraising and support. She campaigned Friday with Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr, who described the plot to kidnap Whitmer as “the fake kidnapping plot orchestrated by the FBI.”

Dixon criticized the media for not reporting what she described as the attacks she suffered during Biden’s last visit, saying he “called me all kinds of names and put my life at risk.”

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Burnett reported from Chicago. ___

Joey Cappelletti is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that puts journalists in local newsrooms to report confidential issues.

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