A top official in the Texas Republican Party on Sunday said a statement calling for the apparent beheading of Utah Senator Mitt Romney was nothing more than a metaphor for citizens to peacefully vote the former GOP presidential candidate out of office that had been taken out of context by his critics.
Terry Harper, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee, made the comment in response to Romney’s statement condemning Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s “egregious ploy” to reject the Electoral College certifications from several swing states where President Donald Trump lost the election.
“Romney should be introduced to our friend Mr. Guillotine,” Harper wrote Saturday in a Facebook post first spotted by journalist Scott Braddock.
When asked about his comments, Harper told the Dallas Morning News that the backlash directed at him was only the result of a misunderstood metaphor wherein voters—the metaphorical body—remove Romney—here, the head—at the ballot box.
“Hence the reference to Mr. Guillotine and the separation of the Head (Romney) from the Body (Utah Voters) is simple….Never did I suggest or wish harm to the Senator,” he said in a written response.
“I do apologize to those who failed to understand my post as I did not make it clear to those who make assumptions based on their personal agenda,” he added.
Harper did not appear to address the fact that Romney, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, won’t be up for re-election until 2024.
Braddock also pointed out that Harper had a longstanding affinity for references to the barbaric method of execution most often associated with the French Revolution, noting that he previously directed people to build their own homemade guillotine as a “DIY stimulus check project.” Another Twitter user pulled up an earlier Harper post about four “conspirators” being hanged for attempting to “overthrow Lincoln as President.” The latter post included a picture of what appeared to be four hanged individuals still swinging from the gallows.
— Jonathan Webers (@JWeber988) January 3, 2021
“Had I known that some would mistake my intent, I would have chosen a different euphemism,” Harper told the Dallas Morning News. “Never did I suggest or wish harm to the Senator as I believe his actions will be reflected at the ballot box. He has harmed himself by making statements contrary to the beliefs of the majority of the 75 million American Republican voters.”
[image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]