A member of the state’s GOP executive committee is under fire after a social media post.

Terry Harper, who is a State Republican Executive Committeeman for Senate District 21 and a Seguin Gazette contributing political columnist, said the post he made recently involving a guillotine and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R) was a misunderstanding.

“I will admit, I should have used different words,” Harper said Friday. “Using the word guillotine, we know what a guillotine is. The French used that in the revolution.”

On Jan. 2, Harper shared on Facebook a post from Romney criticizing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and others who planned to object to Congress certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

“Romney should be introduced to our friend Mr. Guillotine,” Harper wrote while sharing Romney’s post.

He did not mean the quip as an insinuation that the senator be decapitated, Harper said. He did not intend his comment as a threat.

“They believe that I said we need to remove Mr. Romney’s head; that’s not what I said,” Harper said. “I said Mr. Romney is not the conservative he says he is.”

What he actually meant to convey was a metaphor, the Republican Party of Texas member said.

He tried to say that Romney is the head of the Republican Party in Utah and that he needs to be removed from that political body, Harper said. Readers of his social media post took the guillotine reference more literally, he said.

“The guillotine was designed to separate the head from the body,” Harper said. “I was trying to use a metaphor to take it into politics rather than death.”

Harper has since removed the post from his Facebook page and spent about three days or so in Facebook timeout for violating the company’s community standards and shut down his account for four or five days.

The story of his guillotine wording misstep was picked up and reported by the Dallas Morning News and went national, Harper said. People tracked him down, called his phone and “viciously attacked” him in those calls, he said.

Still, he insists he did nothing wrong and his words were taken out of context, but he could’ve communicated better.

“When I used [the word guillotine], I should have explained it a little better,” Harper said.

Harper serves on the Republican Party of Texas’ Candidate Recruitment Task Force, Organization Committee, Legislative Affairs Committee and the State Republican Executive Committee for Senate District 21.

State party leadership laughed off the incident because they know him and know his heart, Harper said.

A pair of messages left Friday afternoon at the Republican Party of Texas headquarters seeking comment were not returned by press time.

Harper said he is an older man who speaks his mind, and he believes in the United States and its system of electing representatives for the people. It should be done fairly at the ballot box, Harper said.

His comment regarding Romney was a small thing blown out of proportion by internet users, he said.

“Nowadays, we have people who hide behind a keyboard and they’re vicious,” Harper said. “We don’t take the time to sit and think and talk.

“They read what they wanted instead of asking my intent.”

Dalondo Moultrie is the assistant managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at dalondo.moultrie@seguingazette.com.

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(6) comments

pilotrancher

Vice President Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senators Romney, Lee, and Graham were profiles in courage when the Senate reconvened Wednesday night to debate the objections to the Arizona electors. They explained in very clear terms why the Constitution required them to count the votes of the electors from Arizona. Senator Romney was correct when he severely criticized the President for inciting a mob to overturn an election fairly decided with no provable evidence of fraud that would have changed the results. The pointed out the place to have made those charges were in courts or at the state legislature level. Over 60 law suits had been dismissed, many by Trump-appointed judges because they had no factual evidence to support the baseless allegations. Terry Harper is totally confused here: conservatives support the rule of law based on facts and the peaceful transfer of power after elections; radical right wingers, not conservatives, support a strong man who will say, before an election, the only way he can lose is if it's rigged and stolen. As a conservative, I call on Mister Harper to return to real conservative principles and refound respect for the Constitution as written, not a false one that gives him whatever political result he demands.

Shepard

Very much agree with your comment, especially that associated with the need for the Republicans to think more clearly about the path forward. Though unknowing of what transpired in the White House after the trend of court cases challenging the election outcome proved to be against the president, the ranking Republicans From both the House and Senate should have met with President Trump and told him that he must, for the good of the nation, conceded. Unfortunately, his rhetoric, like that seen generated by the Democrats over the last 4 years, made the conditions much worse and contributed to the loss of the two Georgia Senate seats.

Though I voted for the president in this election, I voted for the platform, not the personality of the individual. The Republicans should have fielded better candidates to challenge the president in the primaries, someone who championed the direction he was taking us, and turning President Trump out to pasture.

Even if President Trump was to have won the election, the Democrats would have continued to ignore their responsibilities to work for the people they represent and focused on his removal.

Terry Harper, for all of his qualities, failed to note that the moderates within the Republican Party are becoming increasingly concerned with the polarization of DC and the failure of conservative representatives to concentrate on the issues which impact this country in the long term.

Federal deficit spending, controlling illegal aliens, balancing trade with other nations, increasing manufacturing within the US, etc.

The eradication of the Tea Party by the establishment, those In DC and State capitols threatened by a moderate policy agenda, has resulted in a reactionary party.

The lunatic left & right 20% of the population now controls the destiny of the 80%.......a sad and depressing situation.

Rayvers

The reason Mr. Harper's comments got the notoriety they received is that too often people, that should know better, spout potentially incendiary comments, particularly in our present political climate. He has now joined our current president in being a person that requires an interpreter to translate his words to reflect their "true" intent. If only there were not so many people that take those words and interpret them for what they literally represent and believe they should do something about it. This includes hearing someone say that "shooting immigrants" coming across the border (El Paso) or that an "election was stolen" and you had to "fight" to solve the problem (Jan 6, Wash.,D.C.). Mr. Harper's excuse of being and "older man that speaks his mind" made as lame as an excuse as why the president continually is given a pass for what I believe are reckless comments. Maybe some of those comments should just stay in their heads, since some of them have the traits of coming from someone where English is not their first language.

VoiceofReason

Thank you Rayvers, Pilotrancher and Shepard for excellent, thoughtful comments. I concur and would add that as a native Texan, I'm getting pretty tired of picking up the paper and reading about something idiotic said or done by a Texas politician or party official. It's embarrassing. People elsewhere have to begin to wonder if we are a state full of nutcases. We need to hold our own to a high standard and demand accountability for incendiary comments like those of Mr. Harper.

TXHistory

People need to realize on both sided their words do carry weight. Referred to a device with only one purpose really is hard to be misinterpreted. We are Americans first. Which ever side of the aisle you are on remember the other side is not the enemy they just have a difference of opinion. Our enemies are Russia and other countries .

NSchmidt

I believe there's an old saying that Mr. Harper can learn from: "Words are powerful. They can create or they can destroy. So choose your words wisely."

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