GOP Fires Back In Battle Over Twitter Pic - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

GOP Fires Back In Battle Over Twitter Pic

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(WLNS) - Michigan House Republicans are responding to Democrats who are criticizing three male GOP lawmakers for posing in a photograph they say mocks women.

The three state representatives were photographed holding fashion magazines Thursday during a break on the House floor. Rep. Peter Pettalia of Presque Isle tells the reporter not to say the Republicans "don't understand women."

Democrats quickly spread the photo on Twitter and used it to knock Republicans more broadly. Michigan Democratic chairman Lon Johnson says the lawmakers should apologize for a Republican agenda that "threatens women's access to health care and denies women equal pay."

Today Speaker Bolger said, in part, "Regardless of who you are, you have probably made a joke you intended to be funny but that turned out not to be. This issue is not reflective of the Michigan House of Representatives, the Republican Party, nor the three legislators in the picture. What they meant to be a joke wasn't funny to some and I apologize to those who may have been offended."  

Rep. Andrea LaFontaine was more direct, saying, " “I am proud to be a member of the Michigan Republican Party and to have been elected by the House Republicans to a leadership position in our caucus. In the House Republican caucus, we have strong women and strong men who may not all agree on all issues, but who all are working hard for a brighter future for everyone in Michigan. The recent Democrat attacks are not only unfair to both the men and women in our caucus, they are not representative of the reality of serving in the Legislature now."

Pettalia tells The Associated Press that his "off-the-cuff remark" was taken "way out of context." He says it's a "little joke" and says he sees "no harm in it."

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