FREMONT, Mich. — (February 18, 2014) During a presentation at a church in Fremont, MI, Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema of Grandville addressed the controversy surrounding his previous comments on gays and Muslims.
He said the calls for his resignation from the RNC were the “devil’s way” to split the party.
Republicans including Betsy DeVos, Michigan Republican Party Chair Bobby Shostack and Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, have all called for his resignation.
DeVos saying that she could no longer hold her tongue regarding the comments during an interview a few weeks ago.
During that presentation, which was posted by the American Decency Association, Agema explained what happened when Republican heavy-weight Betsy DeVos called, asking him to resign due to those comments.
He said she called him while he was vacationing on a cruise ship and he couldn’t respond right away.
“When you are in the belly of a ship 200 miles off shore, you don’t get good coverage,” he explained.
When he was able to call her back, about three days later, he said she asked him to step down from the RNC.
He said, “We finally came back and she said, ‘I want you to resign’ and she explained why. And I said, ‘Well, you know what? I’m not there yet.’ Because, I don’t feel, if I capitulate to this, everyone else is going to capitulate to this.”
Agema went on to say about the calls for resignation and the controversy over his comments, “This is the devils way and this is the Democrat’s way to split the party.”
He also explained how he felt that his fellow Republicans should have handled the situation regarding an article that he posted on his social media page.
It was an article that someone else had written that questioned what contributions that Muslims had made to society.
“What should have happened, they should not have fallen into this,” said Agema. “They should have said, ‘Hey it’s an article he re-posted. If you don’t like the article, there is other evidence over here. Fine, let’s get on with life and let’s do it.’ But they didn’t. They capitulated to political correctness.”
He also appeared to take a swipe at the DeVos family, who is known for their large political donations.
Agema said that big political donors were threatening to pull money from the coffers of Republicans that might support him.
“So, we stood. But, then what happens is big money and big power goes to individuals and says, ‘You will come against Dave or I’m going to make sure you don’t get any money’. I got that right from Reince Priebus’ mouth. That’s what happened to him. They threatened to take several hundred thousand dollars out of the RNC unless he came out against me.”
Agema said that he stands by his comments.
Regarding the critics who felt those new comments were inflammatory, he said, “I’m not responding to critics. It just plays into their game.”