A South Dakota Republican congressional candidate is trying to walk back the truly insane, recorded statement he made claiming that an Islamic terrorist attack on U.S. soil would propel him to win the Republican nomination in South Dakota’s June primary. KELO.com has the tape on their site.
In the recording, he says, “And then all that has to happen is that there will be one more terrorist attack between now and then and I will be the, just by the Trump effect, I will be the candidate. That’s the way I look at it.”
Before writing this story, KELO.com News asked Tapio about the provenience of the tape, whether it was taken out of context, and any other reaction he might have. Rather than responding directly to KELO.com News, Tapio posted his reply—and the audio—to his Facebook campaign page Saturday afternoon.
In his response on Facebook, Tapio said. “First, I would like to thank the person who secretly recorded a private conversation with me and sent it to the press.” Tapio also noted, “Where the hell do you think this hateful and deadly ideology comes from? Does it come simply by accident? Or from a few extremists who “misinterpret” the true Islam?”
It’s like listening to the thoughts of one thousand marbles banging in a tin pot. Southern Poverty Law Center highlights some of Tapio’s hate.
His legislative activity has largely matched his colorful rhetoric. In 2018, Tapio was the prime sponsor of five legislative proposals, two of which were anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant:
- SB 200: a bill to “suspend all direct or indirect resettlement of refugees and refuse to accept chain migration into South Dakota” and
- SCR 13: a legislatively non-binding resolution asking the U.S Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to declare “Sharia Law” as “the root cause of the global war on terrorism.” In 2017, he was the prime sponsor of only one legislative proposal — another non-binding resolution commending President Donald Trump for “his commitment to keeping the country safe from radical Islamic terrorism.”
Those bills failed. But he tried. He may sound crazy, and have crazy ideas, but President Donald Trump and the Republican Party continue to be complicit in all of that madness; so I kinda feel like Neal Tapio is exactly the candidate the GOP wants to win the primary.