Republicans and Democrats voice concerns over Henry County GOP Comments

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 5:00 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The head of the Henry County Republican Party has resigned over a Facebook post he says has been taken out of context. On the party Facebook page, Trent Hobbs urged Republicans to “stay locked and loaded” and likened the riot at the Capitol to the shot hear around the world, which started the American Revolution.

Henry County GOP comments
Henry County GOP comments(Phil Reed)

In a statement to TV-9, Hobbs clarified “My post was taken entirely the wrong way, and I am sorry to those who didn’t understand that it is me being a modern day Paul Revere, attempting to wake the sleeping masses. I do not condone violence and the activities at the Capital were horrible and should never have happened. The use of the term “locked and loaded” is not a threat of violence, but a military readiness term to be prepared for the any trouble. This post was made in frustration over the way some of the elected officials in this country reacted to the election. I am sorry for posting out of frustration and it has caused me a lot of trouble, including the possible loss of employment. I am sorry for posting my feelings but it cannot be undone. That is my statement, not to be taken out of context.”

Linn County GOPP chair Laura Kaminski says she was relieved at the statement Hobbs made clarifying his comments. She says she is relieved that he is not encouraging violence.

Kaminski says there are still a lot of frustrated Republicans but for her and most other Republicans, the violence at the capitol went too far. She says blaming Republican elected officials is doing more harm than good, urging people to have more civil conversations.

“There was a large chunk of the population that just couldn’t see past the idea that the orange man is bad,” she said. “And regardless of what policies were put in place were fighting it and saying oh he’s racist, he’s sexist even though there’s nothing in the actual policies that were in that supports that.”

Meanwhile Chairman of the Linn County Democrats Bret Nilles says he was saddened by the post and is glad Hobbs is taking responsibility. He disagreed with Kaminski, arguing Republicans enabled the violence and should be held accountable.

“I think over the last four years they have allowed this to go on by not challenging Trump’s lies,” he said. “I think they wanted to call them misstatements or false hoods, but they were lies and they were used intentionally to try to sway people’s attitudes and that attitudes was not in a good direction. They needed to step up and tell the truth.”

Kaminski and NIlles both say they want the country to heal, and are open to starting dialogues.

”I think it’s up to all of us. Democrats and Republicans to be able to take a step back and understand that we are going to have differences, differences of opinions,” said Nilles. “But we have to learn how to respect one another and talk through these issues.

”I think America needs to heal,” said Kaminski. “But I think people need to recognize healing isn’t just giving into what the other side asks for.”

Governor Kim Reynolds called the post “unacceptable and uncalled for.” The chair of the Washington County Republican Party also denounced any violence.

Hobbs says his employment may be in jeopardy because of the post.

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