New Hampshire Republicans on Tuesday quickly distanced themselves from the words of an Auburn legislator who apparently believes the U.S. government is behind the Boston Marathon bombings.
Last Friday, Rep. Stella Tremblay, R-Auburn, posted the following comment on conservative pundit Glenn Beck's Facebook page:
"Just as you said would happen. Top Down, Bottom UP. The Boston Marathon was a Black Ops 'terrorist' attack. One suspect killed, the other one will be too before they even have a chance to speak. Drones and now 'terrorist' attacks by our own Government. Sad day, but a 'wake up' to all of us. First there was a 'suspect' then there wasn't."
Tremblay, reached by telephone Tuesday, said she has a First Amendment right to free speech just like anyone else and quoted Thomas Jefferson as saying, "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."
The Republican Party, however, views her comments differently.
"It is hard to believe that just days after the cowardly acts of terror took place in our backyard that Rep. Tremblay would thoroughly discredit herself with her bizarre, embarrassing and unfounded comments," said Matthew Slater, executive director, N.H. Republican State Committee. "New Hampshire Republicans strongly reject her outlandish views and believe that anybody who holds such bizarre beliefs should not be taken seriously."
New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein quickly pounced on Rep. Tremblay's post as the latest in a string of Republican outrages.
"How long will it take Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Senate Republican Leader Jeb Bradley, and House Republican Leader Gene Chandler to condemn Representative Tremblay's vile and chilling comments?" he asked.
"Tremblay's post is further proof of what can only be called an epidemic of disgusting and shockingly inappropriate behavior by members of the N.H. Republican Party. Yet even for the N.H. Republican Party, which has become synonymous with the Tea Party and radical extremism, Representative Tremblay's claims are a new low. She is an embarrassment to the N.H. House of Representatives, to her constituents, and to the entire state of New Hampshire."
Chandler said Tremblay's comments are so offensive that he was "at a loss for words." They in no way reflect the House leadership or the Republican caucus, he said.
Despite the condemnation, Tremblay was unapologetic. People should question things, she asserted.
"There are too many things going on in this country and nobody questions it," she said.
Tremblay said when the bombings first happened, a Saudi Arabian national, who was wounded in the incident, was named a "person of interest" by the FBI. Investigators obtained a search warrant for his residence and, she said, reporters gathered at a Boston courthouse because they believed the man was going to be arraigned on charges.
But then, she said, the man was released and deported. Tremblay maintains that happened after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama met with high-placed Saudi officials.
"We are supposed to boldly question what our government does," she said.
And, Tremblay pointed out, everyone has freedom of speech.
"We can say whatever we want, am I correct in this premise or not?" she asked.
Tremblay also made news in March when at a legislative committee hearing she said she believes President Woodrow Wilson agreed with Adolf Hitler's view on firstname.lastname@example.org