TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A Republican Otero County Commissioner known for shooting from the hip is facing criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for comments he made during a weekend rally. Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin is also the founder of the group, Cowboys for Trump. Video of Griffin speaking at a rally in Truth or Consequences is sparking a political firestorm.

“I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to the conclusion that the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” Griffin said. The crowd of supporters can be heard cheering after that comment.

Griffin then went on to say, “I don’t say that in the physical sense and I can already see the videos getting edited where it says I wanna go, murder Democrats, no. I say that in the political sense because the Democrat agenda and policy is anti-American right now.”

Despite his disclaimer that he’s only speaking politically, Democratic leaders across New Mexico are condemning the comment, saying he should apologize and resign. Griffin did not respond to request for comment but he did tell the Associated Press that he would not resign because he felt he did nothing wrong.

However, members of his own political party disagree. The Republican Party of New Mexico, with former Congressman Steve Pearce at the helm, said, “The Republican Party of New Mexico wants to state for the record that any statements, whether in jest or serious about harming another individual are just plain wrong.”

The New Mexico Young Republicans also said in a statement, “Couy’s statements set a dangerous precedent for political discourse in New Mexico.”

Cowboys for Trump social media accounts are criticizing some for not playing Griffin’s full comments. Griffin continued in his speech saying, “The reason I say the only good Democrat’s a dead Democrat – I’m saying it politically speaking and I’m saying it because we need to have majorities in the house and the Senate. It’s the only way that we’re gonna put the breaks on an out-of-control governor.”

We also reached out to Republican candidates Yvette Herrell and Claire Chase, who are running for Congress in Griffin’s district. Herrell can be seen in photos and in Griffin’s social media video attending the rally in T or C. She did not respond to a request for comment. Chase’s campaign manager Mike Berg said, “Claire wasn’t at this event. Obviously, she doesn’t support calls for violence against any fellow Americans.”

Otero County Commission Chair, Gerald Matherly, sent the following statement:

I am aware of the statement by Commissioner Couy Griffin that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”  That kind of violent language is unacceptable.  I condemn it.  Even though I am a Republican, I was elected to serve all Otero Countians without regard for their politics.  I represent Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, and independents.  We may not always agree.  But I promise to always give a fair hearing to the views of all Otero Countians.

Gerald Matherly, Otero County Commissioner District 1