GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A candidate to fill the Michigan House 74th District seat in Kent County is drawing scorn for comments he made during a livestream over the weekend, including some that seemed to support the propaganda Russian President Vladimir Putin has promoted to justify his invasion of Ukraine.
Robert Regan, an entrepreneur, last week won the special election primary for the 74th District, which covers northern and western Kent County. On Sunday night, he joined a group called the Coalition to Rescue Michigan live online. That group says its mission is to “reclaim the lost liberties of the people of Michigan.”
WAR IN UKRAINE
During the livestream, Regan said the United States is weak and that has contributed the current situation in Ukraine.
“Everybody knows how weak we are. Putin is a tyrant. Putin is KGB. We all know who he is. He understands the United States cannot be trusted to protect him against corrupt Ukraine, the money laundering capitol of the world, human and drug trafficking,” Regan said during the stream. “Putin said, ‘I have to protect my country, have to protect my children.’ I can’t count on the United States. So what he did, he took some proactive action. He went in Ukraine, knocked out the bio labs, knocked out the missile sites so he can protect his people, which was all a direct reflection on a weak president.”
Asked by News 8 if that meant he supported Putin’s internationally lambasted invasion of Ukraine, Regan sidestepped.
“I would not say that I specifically support the activities of Vladimir Putin,” Regan said. “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.”
Also during the stream, Regan advocated for the 2020 election to be decertified. That created a conversation with some dissenting voices and all six participants talking all at once. One participant said 2020 was lost and it was “too late, sorry.”
“You know that’s kind of having three daughters and I tell my daughters, well, if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it. That’s not how we roll. That’s not how I won this election,” Regan said.
Later, another panelist admonished Regan, saying his comments were shameful. A moderator tried to clarify what he thought Regan meant.
Asked for clarity later Monday, Regan said he meant to say that he would never say such a thing to his daughters.
“I mean, talk about the lies and things that get ripped out of context,” he told News 8. “It’s the exact opposite, ’cause what we were talking about, people were saying you should just accept, just realize this is inevitable. You lost the election in 2020 just accept it and move on to 2022. And my comment was, listen, you would never say something like that to a woman. I have three daughters and I would never say that if rape is inevitable you should just lie back and enjoy it. I mean, that’s horrible. Nobody agrees with that.”
Democrat Carol Glanville, the Walker city commissioner who Regan will face in the May 3 general special election, said she was appalled by Regan’s comment on the livestream.
“It stunned me,” she said. “Frankly, it’s disgusting. And whether he meant it or not … obviously he meant it or he wouldn’t have said it. Those aren’t the kind of thoughts that just roll around in somebody’s head without having some conviction around them and the fact that he gives that advice to his daughters is beyond questionable. I mean, I barely know how to respond to this.”
When Regan ran in a 2020 election for state House, his daughters posted on social media encouraging people not to vote for him.