MARYSVILLE, Mich. (FOX 2) - A Marysville City Council candidate is doubling down on her controversial statements after saying Marysville should be kept as white "as possible", saying "foreigners" should "stay in their own country."
Marysville City Council candidate Jean Cramer elicited audible gasps and looks of bewilderment at Thursday's candidates forum. She was asked how she felt about diversity, and whether the city should do more to attract foreign-born citizens.
"My suggestion, recommendation, keep Marysville a white community as much as possible," she said.
"Seriously, in other words, no foreign-born, no foreign people because of what ... in our past we have experienced. It's better to have simply American born, put it that way."
FOX 2's Hilary Golston went to Marysville to see if that's what Cramer really meant.
Golston: "Do you want to keep people who are not white out of Marysville?"
Cramer: "Not necessarily, no. Like I told them before, as long as they're the same kind, I'm fine with that, and keep up their homes and property, no problem."
Golston: "I'm a black person. I'm married to a white man. Are you telling me that I wouldn't be welcome here in Marysville?"
Cramer: "As I've been saying, when it comes to the Holy Bible, it's all one. In the beginning, the God created the heaven and the earth, and he also created Adam and Eve, the same kind."
Golston: "So you would say that our union is wrong, would be your position?"
Cramer: "I would say so. According to the Bible, yes."
And on immigrants:
Cramer: "As far as foreigners are concerned, I'm questioning that. What they need to do is stay in their own country and work on the problems that they have in their own country before they come here. America's got a lot of problems on its own."
The story has now made national and international headlines. The Mayor of Marysville made a headline of his own: after Cramer made what have been called abhorrent comments, she should take her name out of the running.
"This is a city council candidate. ..I don't, in any way shape or form, have any belief that her views are representative of the city of Marysville itself. I can tell you that the city that I'm a mayor of, the city that I have grown to be a part of, this is not the way we feel. This is not the way we act, and this is not the way we live," said Mayor Dan Damman.
The city council is composed of six seats plus the mayor, and there are three open. The election is coming in November.
The Mayor says it's important that these ideas came to light because now everyone in Marysville knows exactly what Jean Cramer believes.
Marysville is a city in St. Clair County, about 55 miles northeast of Detroit. More than 90% of Marysville's 9,700-person population is white.
WEB EXTRA: Below is the complete interview with Marysville's mayor and a longer interview with Cramer.