GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Robert “RJ” Regan, the Republican nominee to fill an open Kent County state House seat, released a statement Wednesday addressing a controversial comment he made regarding rape.
Since winning the primary earlier this month, Regan has been under fire for conspiracy theory-laden social media posts and a comment he made this weekend while discussing a possible "decertification" of the 2020 election on a Facebook livestream.
“That’s kind of like – I have three daughters, and I tell my daughters if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it,” Regan said. “That is not how we roll. That is not how I won this election. We go right at it,” he added.
Those comments went viral and received condemnation from state GOP leaders, who called on Regan to apologize. “Mr. Regan’s history of foolish, egregious and offensive comments, including his most recent one are simply beyond the pale," said Michigan GOP Chair Amb. Ron Weiser. "We are better than this as a Party and I absolutely expect better than this of our candidates,” Weiser added.
In a statement released Wednesday, Regan blamed the “media” for ”slanderous reporting,” and said he only regrets using an analogy that “could so easily have been taken out of context.”
“My message was intentionally truncated to make it look like I said one thing, when in fact, I was saying the exact opposite,” Regan said.
“We don’t take it laying down, nothing is inevitable, even in the face of insurmountable odds, we fight, always we fight. That is part of our fabric as American citizens when we defeated world superpower Great Britain 250 years ago,” he added.
Regan didn’t mention criticism about his other posts but, by name, called out several high profile Michigan Republicans for attacking him publicly, including current State House Speaker Jason Wentworth. “Now I understand how President Trump felt when he discovered his biggest enemies were in his own political party,” Regan added.
Read Regan's full statement here:
He faces Democrat Carol Glandville in the May 3 special election. The winner will serve eight months in the Legislature.