Fellow Republicans are criticizing Osceola state Rep. Warren Love’s Facebook comment calling for vandals of a Confederate memorial to be “hung from a tall tree with a long rope”. Governor Eric Greitens and Arnold state Rep. Rob Vescovo say Love’s punishment should be equal to that of state Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s. Some Democrats, including U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, say Love and Chappelle-Nadal should resign.

Love tells Missourinet his comment was not meant to convey anything racist.

“As far as really asking or thinking that someone needs to be hung for that penalty, that’s a far cry. That’s just an exaggeration,” says Love. “That’s just a statement and I shouldn’t have made it.”

Love says there is a difference between his comment and State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s recent social media post saying she hopes President Donald Trump is assassinated. Love says he didn’t use specific names.

He refers to his comment as a “cowboy-ism”.

“For somebody to start trying to make out that I’m some kind of a racist is just as far off base as you can get,” says Love. “It’s just a statement that’s been around in the cowboy world for years. When you’re stealing horses or cattle, why you know, we always said we’d hang someone from a tall tree with a long rope. It’s just an expression.”

Love says he hasn’t done anything to warrant stepping down. Instead, he says, there should be a discussion about increasing penalties for vandalizing such property.

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson has also weighed in about his fellow Republican’s comment.

“Representative Warren Love’s recent social media post is unacceptable and inexcusable. Regardless of the context or situation, no elected official should call for violence against anyone. I agree with Governor Greitens that Representative Love must face the consequences for his actions,” says Parson. “As President of the Missouri Senate, I will continue to hold the Senate to a high standard of conduct. Ultimately, it will be up to the members of the Missouri House of Representatives to decide if any disciplinary action should be taken. I hope they will follow the Senate’s lead and help ensure a return to civility in political discourse.”

Parson is not going as far as he is with Chappelle-Nadal’s case. He wants the Senate to remove her from office. He has given the University City Democrat until the Sep. 13 veto session to resign or face a Senate vote to expel her.

Chappelle-Nadal has said that she does not plan to step down.