AP NEWS

The Latest: Evers says Republicans are not “bastards”

November 13, 2019 GMT

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on comments made by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (all times local):

11:05 a.m.

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says he does not think Republican state senators are “bastards,” saying a comment he made using that word was invoking a well-known saying and not an insult.

Evers said Wednesday he was angry last week after the GOP-controlled Senate fired his agriculture secretary Brad Pfaff. He met with state workers and told them not to let the “bastards” impede their work.

When asked about it Wednesday, Evers defended his comments. He says, “It’s not something I just pulled out of thin air. It’s a saying, it’s a thing. I don’t think they’re bastards but I do think they made a huge mistake doing what they did to Brad Pfaff.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Evers is being “shockingly disrespectful.”

“political as

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8:42 a.m.

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is telling state workers that Republican state senators are “amoral and stupid” for firing his agriculture secretary.

Evers also told agriculture department employees at a meeting last week not to “let the bastards keep us from doing our work.” That is according to a tweet from Cheryl Daniels, an attorney at the agency. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported the comments Wednesday.

Evers’ spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff says the governor told the state employees not to let the “bastards” impede their work. She says it was meant as a turn of phrase, not as a direct attack on the GOP legislators.

The GOP-controlled Senate on Thursday voted to fire Brad Pfaff, the governor’s agriculture secretary. Evers took the unusual step of attending the Senate debate in person and afterward criticized the move in comments to reporters sprinkled with four-letter words.