Republican Who Made Rape Comment Loses in GOP District

Others in his party denounced Robert Regan's advice to his daughters
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2022 8:54 AM CST
Updated May 4, 2022 4:52 PM CDT
Michigan GOP Candidate Defends Remark on Daughters, Rape
Michigan's Capitol Building, in Lansing.   (Getty Images/kortemeyer)

Update: A Republican candidate whose comments about enjoying rape were denounced by members of his party lost his bid for a seat in the Michigan House on Tuesday. Robert "RJ" Regan was favored to win the special election in the heavily Republican district, the Detroit Free Press reports. Instead, Democrat Carol Glanville received 51% of the total, according to unofficial results, while Regan collected 40%. The term only runs through the end of the year, when redistricting will change the lines. Glanville and Regan could face each other again; they've both filed to run in a new district in the fall election. "West Michigan values of integrity, decency, and care for the common good won tonight," Glanville tweeted. Our original story from March 9 follows:

A Republican candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives who was campaigned against by his own daughters during 2020's election season has made new remarks they're also sure to dislike. The conversation on Sunday during a Facebook Live meeting of the Rescue Michigan Coalition, a group formed last year to "reclaim the lost liberties of the people of Michigan," turned to election decertification, which is when Robert "RJ" Regan made a comment that drew immediate reaction from other guests on the show. "Having three daughters, I tell my daughters, 'If rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it,'" Regan said, drawing a shocked open-mouthed reaction from Amber Harris, a show attendee the Washington Post identifies as a Republican strategist.

Harris, who had to wait a few more minutes as Regan finished his comments, eventually got to weigh in on what he'd said. "Shameful," she noted, adding that in terms of giving advice to his daughters along those lines, she'd say: "Don't do that. Fight all the time." Show host Adam de Angeli pointed out to attendees they were streaming live on YouTube, though "probably not for much longer after what Robert just said." Both Dems and Republicans hit back immediately on the comment by Regan, who in the past has also called the pandemic "fake" and said that feminism is a "Jewish program to degrade and subjugate white men," per the Post. "Offensive and disappointing," Meshawn Maddock, the Michigan GOP co-chair, said. Carol Glanville, the Democrat who will face off against Regan in May after he earned the Republican nomination in an upset special-primary win last week, also weighed in.

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"I am stunned that a person who wishes to hold public office would hold such beliefs," she noted, per WXYZ. De Angeli was contacted by the outlet on Monday, and he said he believed Regan "misspoke" while trying to say that by not contesting the 2020 election, which Regan is an advocate for, it was akin to telling his daughters to sit back and enjoy being raped. "Maybe not the best analogy, but he was speaking extemporaneously," de Angeli said. Regan himself spoke to Bridge Michigan after the controversial comment, insisting his remark meant only that "nothing is inevitable" and that he doesn't use wording that's as "smooth and polished" as other politicians. "I'm working on it," he said. "The only reason the [politically] left trolls attack you is because they know you're directly over the target, dropping direct hits on an issue." (More rape stories.)

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