OLIVIA (LEARFIELD) – Republican lawmakers say Governor Tim Walz insulted the Minnesota National Guard when he told Mayor Jacob Frey, who was requesting soldiers to control riots in Minneapolis, that instead of trained troops he’d be getting “19-year-olds who are cooks.”
Sen. Andrew Lang (R-Olivia), a National Guard Major, said to be talked down to like that is unimaginable.
“The governor and I can have our disagreements on political items, we can have our disagreements on how we see the future of the state progressing, but this is too far, this was across the line, this was disparaging to the Nth degree,” said Lang. “The 19-year-old kids that went down there and really saved that city, don’t deserve to be talked to like that.”
Lang says with all the time Walz spent wearing the National Guard uniform, he has to wonder if that’s what the governor really thinks.
“It really makes me question, what the heck to you really think about the guard,” said Lang. “Is that the way view those guys, is that the way you view those gals, I sure don’t.”
Lang said it was a political in-fight between the governor and the Mayor of Minneapolis and had nothing to do with the guard.
“It shouldn’t have been taken out upon them,” added Lang.
Walz made the comment after Mayor Frey accused the governor of hesitating to deploy the National Guard for riot control. Walz has said the mayor misunderstood what was required prior to activating the Guard.
Lang wasn’t the only Republican Senator calling on the governor to apologize to the Guard. Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) also echoed Lang’s comments.
“Regardless of the Guard’s experience with riot control, they entered the fray, handled themselves professionally, and successfully calmed a chaotic, lawless situation,” said Dahms. “The National Guard remedied a botched plan the governor helped create and deserves both an enthusiastic ‘thank you’ and a heartfelt apology.”