Despite his low standing in a recent public opinion survey, Michael Peroutka, the Republican nominee for attorney general, signaled on Friday that he does not intend to modify his views in order to boost his chances of winning in November.
During an appearance on WAMU Radio (88.5 FM), Peroutka stuck to the hardline views that earned him the Constitution Party’s presidential nomination in 2004. He also pledged to take legal action against Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and local health officers for actions they took to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Although he is running to be the state’s top lawyer, the Anne Arundel Republican, who served for four years on the county council, again pledged to prioritize what he called “God-given, constitutionally-protected rights” over state and federal laws.
During the wide-ranging interview:
- Peroutka declared that all abortion is murder. “I believe abortion to be against the law of God,” he said. “And I believe it to be violative of the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence.” Asked by host Kojo Nnamdi whether he would defend Maryland’s existing laws, which protect abortion access, Peroutka replied: “You call it a law, but in fact, if something is repugnant to the Constitution, then it’s not a law.” He suggested that no law can recognize exceptions due to rape or incest without violating the Constitution. “Abortion would be treated like murder, which it is. There’s no exception to the intentional termination of innocent life.”
- Peroutka offered a similar stance on same-sex marriage, which was approved by statewide referendum and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. “You’re calling it legal. On what basis do you call it legal?” He then added: “The question is whether the court is above the Constitution…”
- Asked whether he still believes his prior claim that public schools are “a plan in the Communist Manifesto,” Peroutka said a “constitutional and moral” approach to education would be to have parents “set the agenda and the curriculum for the children, not the state or the federal government.” He called for the “dis-establishment” of the existing system.
“All education, to one degree or another, is indoctrination,” he said. “The washing of children’s brains — I’m not necessarily saying brainwashing is bad, because every education system brainwashes in some sense — but I believe that those decisions need to be made by local people.”
Like the Republican nominee for governor, Del. Dan Cox (Frederick), Peroutka is a staunch opponent of the restrictions on commerce and social interaction that were imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Both men also fought mask and vaccine mandates the state imposed.
If elected, Peroutka said on the radio, he would make sure the people responsible for those policies are “brought to justice.” Asked by Maryland Matters Friday if he was referring to Hogan and local health officers, Peroutka said yes. “The violations of constitutionally protected rights of assembly, worship, speech, and privacy are deserving of investigation and prosecution,” he wrote in response.
Hogan, who won broad praise for his handling of the pandemic, has slammed Peroutka for spreading “disgusting lies” about the Sept. 11 attacks. The popular, term-limited governor has not endorsed Cox or Peroutka. Michael Ricci, a spokesman for Hogan, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Peroutka also applauded Cox for seeking to block the counting of mail-in ballots as they come in. Cox sought a court order to delay the counting of mail ballots until after Election Day, citing state law. While the Court of Special Appeals has denied Cox’s request seeking a stay to prevent early ballot-counting, the court will hear oral arguments on Cox’s motion next Friday.
Peroutka said that when courts get involved in election matters, they are usurping power that the state constitution gives to the General Assembly. “It would kind of lead to anarchy,” he said. “It’s really the legislative branch’s job to set those rules, and they shouldn’t be overturned by a judge in my view.”
He skipped lightly over his decision to resign from the League of the South, an organization that advocates for a white-dominated, independent South, referring listeners to his website, where he said he laid out his decision to resign from the group.
When asked if he accepts President Biden’s victory in 2020, Peroutka said: “I don’t know.” He claimed that there is a “body of argument” suggesting that “there was serious anomalies and problems and corruption with the election” and another “body of argument” rejecting those claims. He said he would accept the results of November’s election if they “appear to be lawful and legal.”
Peroutka is running against U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown (D). The congressman is scheduled to appear on WAMU on Oct. 14. Peroutka and Brown are scheduled to have back-to-back conversations with representatives of the Maryland League of Women Voters that will be available online on Oct. 12. Maryland Matters is a co-sponsor of that event.
The Maryland Democratic Party issued a statement on Friday shortly after Peroutka’s comments. “There’s no place for his rhetoric here in Maryland,” the statement said. “He’s racist, he’s sexist, and he’s dangerous.”
Letters to Editor
Deirdre LaMotte says
Spoken like an obtuse man, ugh. Would any of these self righteous zealots give a 10 year old, or even a 19 year old, a baby if she wished to adopt one? No, but they sure as hell will force her to birth a child if she is raped or had sex outside of marriage without any resources, and then look down their noses at her for the situation they helped to create.
Victim blaming is the GOP’s favorite sport.
Please keep your religious believes out of public policy. The latest argument that a fertilized egg is a human life because it has human DNA is a joke. According to that argument the pharaohs are still alive.
For the GOP abortion was never about protecting fetuses, they use this because it’s the language of their base. It was always about having a hot button issue to attack Democrats and rally the religious nuts to their side. It is about votes,
screw the human rights of women.
Marie Velong says
Thank you. You are so right.
Lesley Israel says
He akes me even more glad I am a Democrat!
Bob Kopec says
Just another orange menace wanna be.
Michal Schagrin says
The man claims to be for family values – according to public information from a court case (he sued the social worker for implying to his wife she was an abused wife, if only verbally) – his stepchildren were in the state’s foster care and he adamantly refused to allow them home. He went so far as to call the police and claim they were trespassing when these teens went to the home to try to see their mother. Despicable and hateful man.
Victoria Kenny says
This man is off his rocker and I believe that anyone who votes for him should get themselves in too a hospital for mental evaluation. What world does he live in he should take a time travel back to the 40’s and 50’s when women were not allowed to have control over their health. To make a rape or incest victim go through having a child from that trauma. As for our Governor Hogan for a Replublican he has done a fantastic job in this state I hope he runs for President cause I would go out and volunteer for him and I am a Democratic. This jack off and Cox couldn’t shine Hogans shoes. Go Hogan we will miss you and thank you for the wonderful job you did. From one very happy life long Democrat.
Marie Velong says
Thank you. You are so right.
William Keppen says
Tom Alspach says
“ When courts get involved in election matters they are usurping power that the state constitution gives to the General Assembly.”
Yo, Mike, have you ever read Bush v. Gore? I’m betting not, but I am sure you are all in with the “usurping” that went on there.
Ann Farrell says
Why do typically sensible people on Eastern Shore keep voting for Andy Harris whose positions, voting record and behavior are hateful and antithical to American values.
Hopefully you won’t reelect Andy or elect this crony.
Michael Estrella says
What in hell has happened to the Maryland republican party that has allowed itself to present the voters with candidates like Michael Peroutka and Dan Cox? If this is the best you have to offer up as your finest candidates for statewide office, you are in deep trouble. What in the world gives you the idea that these two guys with their far right wing-nut positions represents the directions the majority of voters wish to move in? I suggest you destroy the barrel whose bottom you grabbed those two from and come back in four years with REAL CANDIDATES!
Brian Wroten says
Someone should ask him “Do you support the death penalty for women who have received abortions?” Since he believes abortion is synonymous with murder.