"Screw you" isn't something that one would normally expect to come out of a politician's mouth while speaking at a Republican women's luncheon. But that's exactly what state Sen. Howard Walker (R-Traverse City) had to say to someone who critiqued his vote for Medicaid expansion at an event Monday.
"One thing that the Republican base has been against is any form of Obamacare," said Brian Sommerfield, a conservative radio host who asserts he voted for Walker. "The Emmet County Republican party, the executive committee, voted their disapproval for this and sent you that. … This so goes against the base and the people that you stand for ... we feel totally violated.”
A video, above, that shows the exchange in Petoskey, Mich. was posted by an editor of the site Watchdog Wire.
"You know, screw you as far as weak Republicans, dude," Walker returned to Sommerfield.
When other attendees questioned him, he repeated himself.
"I said screw you as far as calling me a weak Republican," he said.
“I stand by it based on your record,” Sommerfield shot back.
"The heck with you. I stood by my campaign commitment, and I think I did what was right. ... It was a very tough vote," Walker said.
Sommerfield co-hosts "Your Defending Fathers," a conservative radio show that airs weekday mornings on 94.5 and 93.9 FM in northern Michigan. According to Watchdog Wire, Walker told Sommerfield afterwards, “Sorry to get emotional on you.” But he added, “I resent the reference.”
Walker was one of the eight Republicans who voted with 12 Senate Dems to expand Medicaid. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed the legislation this week, making Michigan the third Republican-led state to do so, according to MLive. Snyder has spent months pushing for Medicaid expansion, which he says is expected to cover 320,000 more Michiganders in its first year.
The tiff between Walker and Sommerfield mirrors the infighting amongst the state GOP. Snyder's push has divided Michigan Republicans, as Tea Party activists and other conservatives strongly opposed to the Affordable Care Act accuse Snyder of mirroring Democrat positions.
Last month, Walker announced that he would not seek reelection in 2014. His office did not immediately return a request for comment sought by The Huffington Post.