A Republican candidate for Michigan‘s House of Representatives invoked outrage earlier this week when he compared opposition to overturning the 2020 election to telling his daughters ‘if rape is inevitable, you should just lay back and enjoy it.’
Robert Regan, who recently won a GOP primary election for Michigan’s 74th House District, was participating in a Facebook livestream event for the right-wing Rescue Michigan Coalition when he made the outrageous joke.
‘We’re a year after the election, we’re a year after, guys. It’s too late,’ GOP strategist Amber Harris said of Donald Trump‘s 2020 loss.
That prompted Regan to reply, ‘I have the same attitude as the parent of three daughters.’
‘I tell my daughters, “if rape is inevitable, you should just lay back and enjoy it,” so, that’s not how we roll and that’s not how we won this election.’
Two of the other five speakers were visibly appalled at the comment.
Harris panned the comparison as ‘shameful.’
Livestream host Adam de Angeli pointed out that their conversation was being watched live on YouTube, before adding ‘probably not for much longer after what Robert said.’
De Angeli later told local outlet WXYZ that Regan ‘misspoke’ and that it was ‘maybe not the best analogy, but he was speaking extemporaneously.’
Robert Regan (bottom, left) was participating in a Facebook livestream for the Rescue Michigan Coalition when he made two inflammatory comments that caught national attention — a rape joke regarding 2020 election fraud claims and appearing to sympathize with Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
Regan said he was taken out of context when reached by the Michigan station for comment via text message, blaming the outrage on a ‘leftist group doing what they do.’
He told another local outlet, Bridge Michigan, that he was being criticized because he had a point about the election and excused himself by claiming he was ‘not a politician.’
‘Sometimes, my words aren’t as smooth and polished as the politicians are because I’m not a politician. I’m working on it,’ Regan said.
‘The only reason the (politically) 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.’
The Michigan Freedom Fund, a conservative group founded by former Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, said Regan’s ‘disgusting’ comment should disqualify him from holding public office.
‘I’m the mom of four young girls. Every day I teach them to stand up for themselves, to know what they’re worth, and to fight back against creeps like Regan,’ executive director Tori Sachs said in a statement.
‘RJ Regan doesn’t belong anywhere near the state Capitol and that is why we endorsed and supported his opponent.’
Regan (pictured campaigning at a school) previously ran for Michigan’s 74th state House district in 2020. At the time, his daughter Stephanie Regan made a public plea on Twitter for voters to not choose him at the ballot box
Regan’s outrageous remarks were also criticized by both Michigan’s Democratic and Republican state parties.
Michigan GOP Chair Ron Weiser, who served as US ambassador to Slovakia under George W. Bush, said the comment was ‘simply beyond the pale.’
‘We are better than this as a Party and I absolutely expect better than this of our candidates,’ Weiser said in a statement.
Democratic State Chair Lavora Barnes called on Republicans to further denounce Regan.
‘This type of language is disgusting and Michigan Republicans have got to stand up and denounce Regan’s remarks and what his candidacy represents,’ Barnes said.
Regan’s rape joke was made in reference to false claims the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump
His Democrat opponent Carol Glanville, who Regan will face-off against in the special election on May 3, also attacked his remark.
‘As a woman, human, and public servant, I am stunned that a person who wishes to hold public office would hold such beliefs. Rape is never inevitable, acceptable, or warranted and is the worst type of personal violation,’ Glanville wrote on Twitter.
Regan was also heavily criticized for appearing to sympathize with Russia’s autocrat ruler Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine during another point in the livestream.
He said Putin ‘understands the United States cannot be trusted to protect him against corrupt Ukraine, the money laundering capitol of the world, human and drug trafficking.’
The Republican appeared to wade into anti-Semitic territory when he was directly asked by Michigan’s News 8 whether he supports Putin’s unprovoked and bloody invasion of Ukraine.
‘I would not say that I specifically support the activities of Vladimir Putin,’ Regan began.
‘All I was trying to suggest is when I see someone like George Soros say we absolutely need to support Ukraine and I see all of the news media jump on board and say, “We all need to get behind Ukraine and condemn Putin,” we’ve just been lied to for the last two years.’
Carol Glanville, the Democrat running against Regan in the May state election, joined in criticizing him for his comment
Soros, a Hungarian-born American billionaire, is frequently invoked by members of the alt-right as a figurehead for what they falsely believe to be a Jewish-controlled elite ruling class.
The May special election is not Regan’s first bid to represent Michigan’s 74th district.
His candidacy made national headlines in 2020 when one of his daughters, Stephanie Regan, made a public plea for voters not to choose her father.
‘[I]f you’re in Michigan and 18+ pls for the love of god do not vote for my dad for state rep. tell everyone,’ the teenager wrote in a now-deleted Twitter post on June 23, 2020, according to Business Insider.
Regan had released a statement claiming he supports his daughter and her right to express her own views.
He then blamed their political rift on the ‘Marxist’ education he said she was getting in college.
‘A lot of students when they go off to these liberal university campuses, like the University of Colorado, the University of Texas and Austin — and she went to the University of Colorado in Boulder — and you know, they just kind of get sucked into this Marxist, communist ideology and she and I just don’t see eye to eye when it comes to the whole socialism, communism, Marxist philosophy,’ Regan told The Hill at the time.