Ann Arbor resident and high-ranking GOP fund-raiser Ron Weiser is facing criticism after a video surfaced of him making allegations of voter fraud and crime in Detroit at a tea party gathering in Milford, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday. In the video, which was filmed in August by a Democratic operative and posted to YouTube by the Michigan Democratic Party, Weiser discussed Detroit’s population decline and the lack of political “machines” as reasons Republicans should be optimistic about the election.
“There’s no machine to go to the pool halls and the barbershops and put those people on buses and then bus them from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times,” Weiser says in the video. “And there’s no machine to get ’em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference.”
He added: “Obama has hired a lot of people to help him get that vote out. But if you’re not from Detroit, the places where those pool halls and barbershops are, you’re not going to be going at 6:30 in November. Not without a side arm.”
Democrats and others said Weiser used racist stereotypes to bash Detroit.
Weiser told the Free Press he believed there had been voter fraud in Detroit in the past but said his remarks “were never intended to be racist comments.” He doubled down on his remarks about needing a side arm, saying “I challenge you to find anyone who says you can walk around the neighborhoods of Detroit at 6:30 in the morning and not find it dangerous.”