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BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — The Montana Republican Party on Saturday condemned a comment made by a state GOP lawmaker who said the U.S. Constitution calls for people who identify as socialists to be jailed or shot.
State Rep. Rodney Garcia made the comment Friday at a state party gathering when he spoke about being worried about socialists entering the government and being “everywhere” in Billings, the Billings Gazette reported.
Garcia stood behind his remarks on Saturday when asked by a reporter about them, though he couldn't point out where in the Constitution it says socialists are to be shot or jailed.
“They’re enemies of the free state,” Garcia said. “What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, (Afghanistan), all those. What did we do?”
Spenser Merwin, the executive director of the Montana Republican Party, said in statement the party wholeheartedly condemned Garcia's comments.
“Under no circumstance is violence against someone with opposing political views acceptable,” he said. ”It’s disappointing that this isolated incident took away from the weekend’s events which showcased the strength of our statewide candidates and the importance of the upcoming election.”
Montana Democratic Party chair Robyn Driscoll condemned Garcia's remarks.