Jensen defends campaign appearance with John Thompson, hits back at Gazelka

Sen. Gazelka criticized Dr. Jensen for allowing a radical representative who has threatened political violence to play a role in his campaign event. Jensen shot back, saying that some people think Gazelka is a radical himself, citing the senator's traditional Christian beliefs.

Dr. Jensen and Rep. Thompson

Dr. Scott Jensen appeared on the radio show Justice & Drew Tuesday morning, where he defended a recent event he hosted that involved Rep. John Thompson and attacked his opponent Sen. Paul Gazelka.

The doctor used his time on air to push back against Gazelka after he criticized Jensen’s recent appearance alongside Thompson, whom Gazelka characterized as “a radical extremist who lies about police officers and is alleged to assault women.” During his remarks on Gazelka, Jensen said that some people view the senator as a radical himself, citing his traditional Christian beliefs.

Jensen is a former state senator and practicing medical doctor currently running against four other Republicans to become the party’s endorsed candidate for governor. Gazelka is a Republican state senator who is also in the race.

Thompson is a freshman state representative who encouraged mobs of BLM protesters to burn down the towns of Hugo, Falcon Heights, and St. Anthony, was asked by his own Democratic Party to resign over years of abuse allegations, and held a Wisconsin driver’s license when he was elected.

Last week, Jensen invited Thompson to the front of the room during a campaign stop, where he remained for the duration of the event, eliciting criticism from some conservatives. Jensen stands by this decision and has fired shots back at Gazelka for criticizing him.

“I thought [Thompson] might have insight that I wouldn’t have” on the issues facing Minnesota’s urban communities, Jensen explained on Justice & Drew.

He also said that the GOP’s unwillingness to engage with figures like Thompson is why it has been unsuccessful in Minnesota.

“My feeling is that this is why Republicans have lost 25 times in a row, because we’re not willing to go in those hard places,” he explained. “Those hard places aren’t just physical spaces … those uncomfortable places sometimes are dialogues and conversations where there might be someone there that you may have tremendous problems with some of [their] past behaviors.”

Next, he said that some people “ask the question: ‘isn’t Paul Gazelka a radical extremist as well?'”

Jensen continued: “He [Gazelka] writes a book, and in his book he talks about the fact that if you divorce and remarry it’s a sin and you gotta make sure you never do that again and you gotta repent … I think that there’s people out there say[ing] … isn’t Paul Gazelka just the same thing [a radical] but on the other end of the spectrum?”

He then suggested that Gazelka likes pornography, before host Drew Lee cut him off.

“If Paul Gazelka is going to talk about his appetite for pornography in his publicized book,” the doctor began.

“I know you gotta play the political game here and you gotta go after your opponents, but let’s not equate Paul Gazelka sharing personal information of his own personal struggles in a book with a guy that has allegations of domestic abuse,” Lee interrupted.

Jensen was apparently referencing Gazelka’s book in which he discusses why pornography is bad and the good he experienced after quitting a porn habit.

“That was absolutely ridiculous,” one of the hosts later said, reflecting back on Jensen’s invocation of the porn argument.

Gazelka himself later called in to the show to comment on the situation. “When you align with Rep. John Thompson, with his horrific record, and try to think that that’s the way you’re going to build bridges to fix Minneapolis, you’re going the exact opposite direction,” he said.

When asked how he would have dealt with Thompson showing up at a campaign event of his own, he offered the following response:

“I would never have brought him up to the front and said let’s share this stage together and give validity to somebody that shouts people down, goes up to Hugo and says burn it down, who even the Democrats in the House has separated themselves from … I would not give credence to somebody that behaves that way. Chances are he’d be yelling in the audience but that’s different from bringing him up there and giving him validity.”