Michigan GOP in Twitter photo flap

Left to right: Reps Roger Victory, Peter Pettalia, Ben Glardon.

Michigan Democrats are criticizing three male Republican lawmakers for posing in a photograph they say mocks women.

A Michigan Radio reporter posted a photo of the three state representatives holding fashion magazines Thursday during a break on the House floor. Representative Peter Pettalia of Presque Isle tells the reporter not to say the Republicans "don't understand women." Also in the picture are Rep. Roger Victory and Rep. Ben Glardon.

Democrats quickly spread the photo on Twitter and used it to knock Republicans more broadly. Michigan Democratic chairman Lon Johnson says the lawmakers should apologize for a Republican agenda that "threatens women's access to health care and denies women equal pay."

Pettalia tells The Associated Press that his "off-the-cuff remark" was taken "way out of context." He says it's a "little joke" and says he sees "no harm in it."