Michigan GOP state House candidate Robert “RJ” Regan is being widely condemned for saying he tells his daughters to “lie back and enjoy it” if rape is “inevitable.”
Regan, the father of three daughters, said during a Facebook Live broadcast that he tells his daughters to enjoy being raped if rape is inevitable.
“Having three daughters, I tell my daughters, ‘Well, if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it’,” the House Representative-hopeful said in a live stream with conservative group Coalition to Rescue Michigan.
The candidate narrowly won a special primary election for the Republican-leaning 74th House District in Michigan just last week. He is currently the favorite to win the May 3 special election for the Michigan House seat.
Regan faces immediate backlash for comments that experts and activists have said perpetuate rape culture, exonerate rapists, and downplay rape.
Democrats quickly condemned the remarks. The Michigan Freedom Fund, which is a conservative group, also denounced the remarks.
Top Michigan Republicans denounced the candidate for his remarks. State Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser said in a statement that his long history of egregious and offensive comments, including the one about rape, are “simply beyond the pale,” and that the GOP is better than this as a party and the candidates should be better than this as well.
Similar condemnations followed, made by other top Republicans in Michigan, including the Kent County GOP chairman, House Speaker Jason Wentworth, and Senator Mark Huizenga.
Anti-rape campaigners and women’s rights experts said that Regan’s comments are insulting and damaging to survivors of rape.
These are also just the latest in controversial comments from Regan. He called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “fake war,” saying it was just like the “fake pandemic.” He has also shared anti-Semitic social media posts.