Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon (Mich.) joked on Friday at two separate events about the foiled kidnapping plot against her opponent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).
"For someone so worried about getting kidnapped, Gretchen Whitmer sure is good at taking business hostage and holding it for ransom," Dixon said at a campaign event in Troy, Mich., according to video posted by an Associated Press reporter.
"The sad thing is that Gretchen will tie your hands, put a gun to your head and ask if you are ready to talk."
Two men were convicted last month for kidnapping conspiracy and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the plot to kidnap Whitmer. The men now face maximum sentences of life in prison, CNN reported.
Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., along with two other individuals who pleaded guilty, allegedly arranged the plot in retaliation against the governor's COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in 2020.
At a second event on Friday, Dixon laughed alongside Donald Trump Jr. at one of Whitmer's facial expressions.
"The look on her face was like, 'Oh, my gosh, this is happening. I'd rather be kidnapped by the FBI,'" Dixon said, referring to an appearance Whitmer made with President Biden at the Detroit Auto Show.
The conservative political commentator, who was endorsed by former President Trump in the gubernatorial primary, denied that her first comments about the kidnapping plot were "a joke" after criticism.
"I'm like, 'No, that wasn't a joke.' If you were afraid of that, you should know what it is to have your life ripped away from you," she told her audience at the second campaign event, according to CNN.
Michigan Democrats condemned Dixon's comments about the kidnapping, with Whitmer's spokesperson calling the Republican "absolutely unfit to serve in public 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," spokesperson Maeve Coyle told CNN.
"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."
Democratic Governors Association spokesman Sam Newton called on the DeVos family, political giants in Michigan who are backing Dixon for governor, and the Republican Governors Association to "condemn her dangerous extremism."
"Multiple people were convicted in a domestic terrorist plot to kidnap the Governor and Tudor Dixon thinks it's a laughing matter," he wrote. "Dixon is too dangerous and completely unfit for office."
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