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Minnesota GOP official's tweet about Robin Williams death stirs social media fight

Posted by: Ricardo Lopez under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota governor, Republicans Updated: August 12, 2014 - 3:28 PM

The deputy chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, Chris Fields, sparked a Twitter feud after he defended his comments using Robin Williams' death to plug the GOP-endorsed candidate for governor, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. 

In a reply to a tweet sent Monday night by a DFL staff member who remembered Williams, Fields said: "how very 80's. Want an economy like we had in 80's under Reagan...Vote @Jeff4Gov tomorrow in the primary".

Fields then engaged in a Twitter feud with other users of the social media site who criticized Fields for stumping for votes. The GOP deputy chair defended his original remarks, criticized political correctness and said DFL policies "hurt real [people]."

Fields has since deleted most, but not all of his tweets, and Johnson, in a Twitter post, said the tweets "last night mixing Robin Williams' death [with] politics were inappropriate [and] wrong. America will dearly miss him."

In a statement released by the Minnesota GOP, Fields apologized for his tweets. "My comments were insensitive and inappropiate, and they clearly do not reflect the views of the Republican Party of Minnesota. I am sincerely sorry for my actions."

Fields comments' come at an inopportune time for the state's Republicans. The party is hoping its slew of candidates, including Johnson, can beat DFL candidiates and incumbents in the gubernatorial, legislative and U.S. Congressional races this fall. Voters on Tuesday are heading to polls in a primary election to determine which of four GOP gubernatorial hopefuls will face DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in November.

Updated Aug. 12 at 2:15 p.m. to include Fields' statement.

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