Politics & Government
5:15 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Snyder renews call for 'civility' in MLK day address

As a state Republican leader continues to roil his party with comments about gay people and Muslims, Gov. Rick Snyder used a Martin Luther King Day speech to call for more public civility.

“It’s disappointing that I had to make that call because of comments made by people out in the public,” he told a Martin Luther King Day lunch in Lansing. “And that just shows we need to continue this journey in terms of looking at equality and justice.”

The governor’s comments were yet another veiled reference to Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema.

But Snyder still refuses to call out Agema by name or join other Republican leaders who are calling on Agema to quit.

“I’m not going to get into specific individuals,” he said. “I’m sticking with my call across the board for civility and respect towards others.”

Agema says his words are being twisted and used by his enemies. In a post on his Facebook page this week, Agema wrote:

“Just got back from an 8 day out of country vacation scheduled this past summer. While I was gone It seems the same people are feeding half truths to the news within the GOP, stirring up divisiveness. I stand on the same issues I always have- God, family and country. There are times I have posted or linked an article to encourage discourse. This does not constitute endorsement of that position, but some capture a controversial snippet and allege those are my words. It is an unfortunate and uncivil tactic meant to ruin a person's reputation. It remains my goal to get fiscal, moral and constitutional conservatives elected and keep the Tea Party working with the Republican Party. The Party platform is clear and the State Constitution is clear. I have tried to uphold them but have been threatened, sent vulgar T-shirts, called nasty names at all times of night and day. I have never used name calling. Political correctness is taking the place of free speech via fear and intimidation. It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. I request my supporters and friends to turn the other cheek and not show the intolerance some of the opposition have shown.”

Over the weekend, former Michigan Republican Chairwoman and major Republican donor Betsy DeVos said it’s time for Agema to go.

Also, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement saying Agema’s words do not represent the Republican Party.

The RNC is to meet in Washington this week.