Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Kristina Karamo downplayed concerns about a tweet from the Michigan GOP account — which compared the Holocaust to gun control measures — during a Republican Party event in May, according to audio obtained by The Daily Beast.
The tweet in question elevated a prevalent right-wing talking point that the first thing a government does when they want to control people is take their guns away.
“#History has shown us that the first thing a government does when it wants total control over its people is to disarm them,” the Michigan GOP tweet read.
It also included an image of wedding rings from the millions of Jewish people murdered by Nazis during the Holocaust with a caption that read, “Before they collected all these wedding rings… they collected all the guns.”
The tweet received bipartisan pushback as many criticized it for trivializing the Holocaust. The Republican Jewish Coalition called it “absolutely inappropriate” and called on the state party to take it down “immediately.”
The tweet is still up on the Michigan GOP account.
But despite the widespread condemnation, in a speech she gave at the Lincoln Day dinner in Montcalm County on May 17, Karamo reportedly made it clear she was not worried about the criticism. She dismissed the continued anger over the tweet as “hilarious, completely hilarious,” according to the Daily Beast.
“They’re still going on and on about that,” Karamo said in the leaked audio. “‘Are you going to apologize?’ I’m like really, are you guys still going on about this?”
“I get this mail and it’s about how I’m encouraging white supremacy and xenophobia all this… I just laugh so hard,” she added, seemingly nodding at the fact that she is a Black woman.
As she went on, Karamo said the quiet part out loud, arguing that Republicans fight for their guns and against gun restrictions not necessarily because of the right to bear arms, but because they want to be prepared to overthrow the government.
“Us being armed is not about stopping a burglar,” she said. “It’s not about hunting. It’s about stopping a tyrannical government. And if you know a thing or two about history, we know that governments have a tendency to be very abusive to the citizenry.”
Karamo is also a known election denier. In October 2022, when she was running as the Republican nominee for secretary of state, Karamo and other Michigan GOPers filed a lawsuit claiming — without evidence — that there was wrongdoing in Detroit’s election. They asked the judge to require residents of Detroit to vote in person or obtain their absentee ballots in person at the clerk’s office.
The judge quickly dismissed the case, saying it was “rife with speculation, an absence of facts and a lack of understanding of Michigan election statutes and Detroit absentee ballot procedures.”
And last week a judge ordered Karamo and six others to pay more than $58,000 in legal fees racked up by the Detroit clerk’s office as it fought the baseless lawsuit.