"Public officials won't agree on every issue, but there should be universal agreement that everyone should be treated with respect and with civility."
-- Gov. Rick Snyder
A top Republican has likened the GOP leader of the Michigan House to Adolf Hitler.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson on Friday called Speaker Jase Bolger "Adolf Bolger" during public television's "Off the Record" show. He also pulled a comb and held it over his lip like the Nazi leader's mustache.
Patterson is upset over legislation to end unlimited medical benefits for people catastrophically injured in car crashes and replace them with a $1 million cap. Patterson was seriously injured in a crash last year and his driver became a quadriplegic.
Patterson also criticized Bolger for removing Democrats from their committee assignments. Patterson says Bolger is arrogant and is embarrassing himself.
Bolger had no immediate comment, though other House Republicans say Patterson went too far and should apologize.
Governor Rick Snyder released the following statement:
"The primary focus of public officials should be on serving their customers, the people of the state of Michigan, and working together to get that job done. The public benefits from a vigorous discussion of each issue as long as that discussion is conducted in a constructive, respectful manner.
"Public officials won't agree on every issue, but there should be universal agreement that everyone should be treated with respect and with civility. There have been several instances in Michigan recently where the rules of respect and civility have been ignored. The old saying applies here: We can disagree without being disagreeable.
"Personal attacks and remarks that aren't constructive or respectful of others only divert attention from the ultimate goal, which is serving the 10 million people of the state of Michigan. Michigan can show the rest of the country how to restore respect and civility to the political process. All it takes is a commitment from each and every public official in the state to be a true leader and follow the rules of respect and civility at all times.
"I'm calling on every public official in the state to say, 'We can do better,' and to make a personal commitment to help establish Michigan as a national leader in restoring respect and civility to the political process."