Over the weekend, Meshawn Maddock, the co-chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, labeled US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, a former officer in the US Navy Reserve who also happens to be gay, a “weak little girl.”
She posted a video from the Republican National Committee with Buttigieg talking about the California ban on new gas-powered vehicle sales by 2035 and asking the nation to “move in the direction of electric vehicles.”
Maddock tweeted with the video:
“We’re so blessed this weak little girl moved to Michigan. Looks like he’s bringing all his California Dreaming here with him.“
Maddock’s faced immediate criticism from Democrats for the homophobic post. Democratic state Rep. Samantha Steckloff caled on Republicans “to stand up against this garbage” and pressed for Maddock’s “immediate removal.”
“The @migop chair chose today to raise homophobic and bigoted attacks against Michiganders.”
Buttigieg and his husband Chasten recently moved to the Traverse City, Michigan area, where Chasten is originally from.
Spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party, Gustavo Portela refused to comment on the issue while Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel declined a reporter’s request for an interview.
Maddock’s post had nearly 2,500 replies within 24 hours.
Lavora Barnes, chairwoman of the Michigan Democratic Party, said that while Democrats will use it to raise money and rally voters to action against such homophobic, hateful speech, she was “not responding to homophobic crazy.”
State Senator Jeremy Moss, who is also gay, said in a tweet that homophobia was “the most thought-out, detailed and consistent brand for the Michigan Republican Party.”
This is not the first time Maddock’s tweets have draw criticism for her hateful speech. In January, a tweet about Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II (D.) also sparked sharp criticism. When Gilchrist posted a video featuring him speaking about resuming public activities after his positive case of COVID-19 while wearing a mask, Maddock retweeted it, saying “Show this video to a (sic) babies and watch them cry. Scary masked man should #StayHome.”
Barnes, who is also African-American, called out Maddocks racist comments at the time:
“Is it still accurate to call something a dog whistle as it’s actively shattering your eardrums?
Buttigieg responded to Maddock’s hateful tweet later in the week:
“If she wants to talk about little girls, Chasten and I are raising a little girl and a little boy and we are raising them to have better values than the chairwoman. The rest is politics”