Updated: May 20, 2020 09:22 PM
Created: May 20, 2020 03:17 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Democrats and Republicans are condemning comments made by Otero County Commissioner and "Cowboys for Trump" founder Couy Griffin.
"We're a blue state, we got blue leaders involved, they all band together. I've come to a place where I've come to the conclusion that the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat," Griffin said at an event in T or C. "Cheers. I can already see the videos of people saying I want to murder Democrats. No, I mean that in the political sense. The Democratic agenda and policy is anti-American right now."
Speaking with KOB 4, Griffin insists his words are being taken out of context.
"The last thing that I meant was in a physical sense and I cleared it up, if you watch a couple seconds more of it, I made it very clear I was talking about policy and politics," he said.
In the clip from the event, Griffin goes on to explain what he means by a "dead Democrat."
"I'm saying the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat is, I'm saying it politically speaking because we need to have majorities in the House and Senate," Griffin said. "It's the only way we can put the brakes on our out-of-control governor."
Some people are concerned Griffin's words could inspire acts of violence. Griffin said that is not a concern of his.
"I would just hope and pray that would never take place," he said.
High-ranking Democrats are sounding off about Griffin's comments.
Lt. Gov. Howie Morales said, "If this is the new voice of the Republican Party in New Mexico today, I'd say they have some soul-searching to do. If it's not, then I expect my Republican friends to speak up forcefully - now - and reject Couy Griffin's divisive, apparent call for violence."
Republicans also appear to be trying to distance themselves from Griffin's comments.
The Republican Party of New Mexico posted a tweet that says, "Any statements, whether in jest or serious about harming another individual are just plain wrong."
Young Republicans of New Mexico also stated they "condemn the statements made by Couy Griffin and ask that he apologize to New Mexicans."
Griffin's comments could have an impact on Republican candidates who sought his endorsement.
Yvette Herrell, a candidate in the 2nd Congressional District race, was photographed at the event where Griffin made his comment. And she has used the endorsement from Cowboys for Trump, a group that Couy Griffin founded, to appeal to voters.
Candidates work hard to secure endorsements, but they run the risk turning off voters when a controversy happens.
Griffin responded to the possibility of hurting a campaign he endorsed.
"If they truly did feel like anything I have said or positions I have hurt their campaigns, I would probably tell them I'm sorry if it did," Griffin said.
KOB 4 reached out to Herrell's campaign for comment, but did not receive a response.
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