Last week, Alabama Republican Party chairman John Wahl was the subject of two attack pieces courtesy of AL.com columnist Kyle Whitmire.
On top of accusing Wahl of "refusing to show" a "license to vote," Whitmire has dragged Wahl's family into the fray by criticizing their stance on voter ID.
On Thursday, Wahl spoke with host Phil Williams on Rightside Radio about the hits on his family and gave his side of the story.
Wahl first addressed a time when he voted using a photo ID issued by the state auditor's office.
"For me, there was no big deal made out of it," he said. "They showed the picture to the probate judge, the probate judge approved it, I voted — no issues."
However, Wahl told Williams there "have been issues" with his family, some of whom belong to the Anabaptist and Mennonite communities.
"They're good people. They're hardworking. They're genuine; the kind of people who would give you the shirt off their backs," Wahl said.
He said due to backlash and "attention" he's gotten from Democrats for some of his policies, several of his family members were "pushed not to vote." He also said it was a "common belief" among those within the Anabaptist and Mennonite communities to not believe in using photo ID.
"Kyle Whitmire was really, to be honest, just being cruel to them and the fact that they were different," Wahl said. "… Kyle was making this out to be some terrible, crazy thing, but there's some other people throughout American politics and American figures who have this same background, including Dwight Eisenhower… It's not that it's that unusual. It's that we have a liberal media person who wants to belittle them and make them look weird."
Wahl said he has long believed a "certain amount of respect" should be given to families of politicians and elected leaders.
"I am sure that I am not the only person in the world with family members who may believe differently than I do," Wahl said.
Wahl said he had made no secret of supporting former President Donald Trump and being a member of his faith coalition to encourage people to vote.
"If you're going to stand up for stuff, whether it's Donald Trump, opposing the Biden administration, whether it's fighting for school choice or opposing these socialist ideas that are being forced upon us, opposing vaccine mandates, opposing indoctrination of our children with this transgender education system they're trying to force on us — I've been very vocal on those issues… It makes sense that I've become a target of this progressive idea that wants to remove anyone who's going to stand up and say 'no.'"
Wahl said he "dreams" of a time where people debate the issues rather than resort to "trashy, underhanded schemes."
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