Gov. Mark Dayton says a Republican state senator's comments about the medication he takes is a form of gutter politics.
Republican Sen. Mike Parry, R- Waseca, who is running for the GOP nomination the 1st Congressional District talked about Dayton during a fundraiser in Brown County on Monday. In a video, posted online by a New Ulm Journal reporter, Parry said Dayton is "scary."
"When you sit across from him and watch him pop 15 to 16 pills while you're having a meeting, it's scary," Parry said. "We all know how scary Obama is, he is at the same level."
Dayton said he does take medication but said Parry is exaggerating. He said Parry is trying to boost his campaign for Congress by criticizing him.
"That's a lie," Dayton said about Parry's remark. "Somebody who probably thinks he's losing an election in six days is going to reach for anything he can and try to make an issue out of it and blow it up and see if he can get an advantage with it. To me it says a lot more about him than it does about me."
Dayton said he won't ask Parry to apologize for the remarks, but he said Parry should apologize for suggesting he cut funding for veterans services. Parry's campaign manager says Parry stands by his comments.
Parry faces former state Representative Allen Quist next week in the Republican primary in Minnesota's 1st District. The winner will face incumbent DFL Congressman Tim Walz in November.
Update: Parry released this statement:
Statement from Mike Parry:
"I have great sympathy for those who struggle with addiction and depression. Governor Dayton has been upfront about facing these challenges and confirmed today that he takes medication. Last night at a Republican fundraiser, I shared a story from a breakfast meeting I had with Governor Dayton. At that meeting, Governor Dayton took pills. The larger point I made last night was that our state is at a great risk if Democrats take control of the state house and senate -- consequently, Governor Dayton would be able to enact legislation that is out-of-the mainstream with the majority of Minnesotans."