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Democrats Condemn Tudor Dixon for Mocking Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

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Tudor Dixon, the Republican nominee for governor of Michigan, mocked a kidnapping plot against her Democratic opponent, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, at two campaign events on Friday.

The 2020 plot against Ms. Whitmer rattled Michigan and was seen as an indication of the rising threat of political violence and right-wing domestic terrorism. Two men were convicted in a plan to kidnap the governor at her vacation home and instigate a national rise up. Prosecutors said that the boys went on “reconnaissance missions” to the house, amassed high-powered guns and discussed blowing up a bridge to maintain the police from responding. Two other men were acquitted.

“The sad thing is Gretchen will tie your hands, put a gun to your head and ask in the event you are able to talk. For somebody so apprehensive about getting kidnapped, Gretchen Whitmer sure is sweet at taking business hostage and holding it for ransom,” she said at an event in Troy, Mich., scary laughter and applause within the room.

The remarks drew swift condemnation from Ms. Whitmer’s campaign and from Democratic groups. At one other campaign event later within the day in Muskegon, Ms. Dixon doubled down. She joked that Ms. Whitmer had looked unsure of what was occurring as she held President Biden’s hand during his recent visit to an auto show within the state.

“The look on her face was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is going on. I’d slightly be kidnapped by the F.B.I.,’” she said on the rally, as some within the audience laughed, clapped and whistled. Then, seeking to reporters within the back, she contended that her earlier comments about holding businesses for ransom had not been a joke.

“If you happen to were afraid of that, you must know what it’s to have your life ripped away from you,” Ms. Dixon said.

Ms. Dixon, who’s trailing Ms. Whitmer within the polls before the election on Nov. 8, had been campaigning on Friday with Donald Trump Jr. and Kellyanne Conway, the previous Trump White House adviser. Former President Donald J. Trump is predicted to look with Ms. Dixon at a rally on Oct. 1 in Macomb County.

In a press release, Sam Newton, deputy communications director for the Democratic Governors Association, called Ms. Dixon’s comments “dangerous, an insult to law enforcement who keep us protected and utterly disqualifying for the role of Michigan governor.”

Maeve Coyle, a spokeswoman for Ms. Whitmer’s campaign, said Ms. Dixon’s remarks made her “absolutely unfit to guide in Michigan” and were “no laughing matter.”

“Governor Whitmer has faced serious threats to her safety and her life, and she or he is grateful to the law enforcement and prosecutors for his or her tireless work,” Ms. Coyle said in a press release.

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