House DFL lawmaker's 'white male' comment sets off spat

Melissa Hortman won't apologize for 'white male card game' remark

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A comment made by Minnesota House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman has spurred calls for an apology, one she says she will not give.

On Monday evening, the DFL lawmaker from Brooklyn Park voiced her frustration over, according to her, women in the House being ignored. 

"I hate to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room, but I think this is an important debate,” she said. "I'm really tired of watching women of color, in particular, being ignored."

Hortman went on to praise fellow female lawmakers and their speeches during the debate over a bill that would increase penalties for protesters who block traffic or disrupt transit or airport travel.

“I’m a white male. I respect everybody,” said Rep. Bob Dettmer, a Republican from Forest Lake. “I really believe the comments made by the minority leader were really not appropriate."

When Hortman said she was not going to apologize, Dettmer said, "All I know is that if I would have made a comment like that, it would have made the front page of the newspapers. And minority leader, I do forgive you.”

“If anyone is owed an apology this session, it is the Minnesotans who will be hurt by the Republicans’ proposed budget,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin on Tuesday.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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