An Otero County commissioner and founder of the “Cowboys for Trump” group is facing growing calls to resign after a video clip surfaced last week of him saying, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
This is not acceptable from an elected official. Otero County Cmr. Couy Griffin was elected to represent all of the citizens not just Republicans, as a Republican I completely condemn this statement #nmpol @NewMexicoGOP @Yvette4congress @ElisaforNM @ABDforNM is this ok with you? pic.twitter.com/I6ayLCV0vh
— A. Blair Dunn (@ABDforNM) May 19, 2020
But Couy Griffin pushed back against the outrage his comments have sparked, saying he doesn’t feel like he’s done anything wrong and that they were made in a political – not physical – sense.
“I could’ve chosen a different verbiage, you know. I guess I need to be more careful when I choose the words that I speak,” Griffin, has led pro-Trump horse rides through Washington, D.C., and posed for a photo in the White House with Donald Trump, told The Daily Beast. “But you know, it’s just so hypocritical of the left how they’re blowing this up, like I’m some hate-speech murderer.”
But in the interview, Griffin also repeated his claim that “the only good Democrat is a dead one” and signaled that he still thinks some top Democrats—such as governors Ralph Northam (D-VA) and Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)—could be guilty of treason.
“You get to pick your poison: you either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope,” Griffin said.
Asked whether he thinks anti-lockdown protesters are increasingly considering violence, he said: “I’ll tell you what, partner, as far as I’m concerned, there’s not an option that’s not on the table.”
In recent weeks, anti-lockdown protesters across the country have ramped up their calls for violence against Democrats.
The Daily Beast notes:
On Sunday, anti-lockdown protesters in Frankfort, Kentucky, hung an effigy of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear from a tree outside the state capitol. The effigy bore Beshear’s face and a message: “Sic Semper Tyrannis.” The slogan, which means “thus always to tyrants,” is associated with the assassination of Julius Caesar and has become popular with anti-government groups.
— Sarah Ladd (@ladd_sarah) May 24, 2020
In North Carolina, prominent anti-lockdown activist Adam Smith posted a Facebook Live video on Friday saying he and other activists were “willing to kill people” over coronavirus restrictions.
“But are we willing to kill people? Are we willing to lay down our lives?” Smith said in the video. “We have to say, ‘Yes.’ We have to say, ‘Yes.’ Is that violence? Is that terrorism? No, it’s not terrorism. I’m not trying to strike fear in people by saying, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ I’m gonna say, ‘If you bring guns, I’m gonna bring guns. If you’re armed with this, we’re going to be armed with this.’”