GOP nominee Tudor Dixon makes light of plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

The Republican candidate for Michigan governor on Friday compared Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policies to the 2020 plot to kidnap the Democratic incumbent, remarks that Democrats criticized as making light of a serious and dangerous crime. Tudor Dixon referred to the kidnapping plot at two separate events.

Republican nominee for Governor Tudor Dixon faced criticism Friday after making light of the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) at multiple events.

Dixon first made the comment during an event in Troy for a crowd of roughly 250 people where was joined by former Trump advisor KellyAnn Conway and Fmr. Gov. John Engler to talk about her core issues of crime and education. Instead, it was her comment that took center stage.

“The sad thing is, Gretchen will tie your hands, put a gun to your head and ask if you’re ready to talk,” she said to the crowd as she talked about the impact on small businesses during the pandemic. For someone so worried about being kidnapped, Gretchen Whitmer sure is good at taking businesses hostage and taking them for ransom.” Afterward, the crowd clapped and laughed.

At an event, later that afternoon alongside Donald Trump Jr. Dixon said her comment “wasn’t a joke.” Trump later called the kidnapping plot “fake” and “orchestrated by the FBI.”

In response, the Whitmer campaign spokesperson Maeve Coyle said in a statement. “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.”

Two men have been convicted and two others pleaded guilty in the plot to kidnap the Governor from her vacation home.

During her event in Troy, Dixon focused on what have become the core issues of her campaign, beginning with crime.

“We’re going to start cracking down on Whitmer’s violent crime wave,” she said.

Dixon isn’t wrong about the rise in crime. According to the latest Michigan State Police crime stats for 2021, Michigan’s violent crime rate is up by more 9% in the last five years and .3% in the last two years. Specifically, in the last two years, murder and robbery rates dropped while rape and aggravated assaults rose.

On the education front, Dixon talked about the recent slipping of reading and math scores calling for more school vouchers that would allow parents to take their tax dollars out of public schools and continue to make ending sex and gender education in schools a top priority.

“We’re going to put a stop to all the radical sex and gender talk with our children. Parents will be in the driver’s seat when it comes to education in the state of Michigan and anyone who doesn’t like that can just get out of the way,” she said to the cheering crowd.

Dixon has made claims public schools are attempting to sexualize students or facilitate gender transitions without parental consent a key part of her platform. Most recently calling for a statewide book ban on books she considered to be pornographic. She also criticized the Michigan Department of Education after a series of training videos about teaching transgender students were spread online. Dixon has called for the resignation of State Superintendent Michael Rice who has defended the training calling it protection for transgender kids. According to 2021 data from the state, trans students make up only 1.7 percent of the overall student population in Michigan.

The historic race for governor, the first between two women, has widened in recent weeks. The most recent polling done by the Detroit Free Press showed Whitmer in the lead by 16 points. She also has the lead in fundraising, outraising Dixon 28 to 1. The two face off for the first time in a debate on Oct. 13.

About the Author:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.