Democrats Boost Pro-Trump House Candidate in Michigan
Talk about politics making odd bedfellows.
Democrats are set to spend nearly $500,000 to push a Republican who is a supporter of former President Donald Trump in a highly contested primary for a House seat.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) hopes to knock out another GOP candidate it feels is more moderate, believing that Democrats will have a better chance in November against the pro-Trump candidate.
The DCCC plans to shell out $425,000 on an ad painting candidate John Gibbs as the real pro-Trump candidate compared to Republican Rep. Peter Meijer — who voted to impeach Trump.
“Handpicked by Trump to run for Congress, Gibbs called Trump ‘the greatest president’ and worked in Trump’s administration with Ben Carson,” the ad says, according to Axios. “Gibbs has promised to push that same conservative agenda in Congress.”
Trump endorsed Gibbs after Meijer voted for his impeachment over the January 6 Capitol riot.
While the ad still portrays Gibbs as “too conservative” for Michigan, it casts Gibbs as he paints himself — the true pro-Trump candidate.
Fetterman A Champion Troll
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) dropped off the campaign trail a couple of months ago after sustaining a stroke, but his team has proved adept at trolling his GOP candidate, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz.
Team Fetterman has been portraying Oz as a carpetbagging New Jerseyan. The team put out a video featuring “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi wishing Oz luck on his recent move to Pennsylvania to “look for a new job.” Another featured pictures of Oz’s mansions — it’s worth noting that not one is in Pennsylvania. And in the team’s most recent effort, they released a video of Fetterman launching a petition to have Oz inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
We thought it would be *so* nice to honor Dr. Oz’s Jersey Pride. So we’re starting a petition to get him inducted into the @NJHallofFame! 🎉
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 21, 2022
The team’s efforts caught the eye of liberal MSNBC, which published a piece headlined: “Why John Fetterman’s trolling could win him a seat in the U.S. Senate.”
Oz’s campaign has tried to push back on the residency issue, and his team took a shot at Fetterman being off the trail to recover from his stroke.
“Fetterman hasn’t faced voters in months — but he did have time for a family vacation to the Jersey Shore,” Oz communications director Brittany Yanick said in an email to NBC News.
Fetterman’s campaign once again slapped back smartly, saying: “John just visited — Dr. Oz still basically lives there.”
Big Money Roils AZ Race
Billionaire Peter Thiel is flexing his wallet in Arizona, throwing his support — and some big bucks — behind Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters.
Thiel contributed another $1.5 million to the pro-Masters Saving Arizona super PAC on July 7, according to a Thursday filing with the Federal Election Commission. That means the venture capitalist has now dropped some $15 million to boost the Trump-backed Masters, who has been struggling to raise money.
Masters is being heavily outspent by his Republican primary opponent, Jim Lamon, a solar power executive who has loaned his campaign more than $14 million. But Masters has been relying on Thiel and the super PAC to stay competitive.
Still, Masters remains at the top of the polls and is set to appear at a rally with Trump Friday night in Prescott Valley. The primary is on Aug 2.
Gloves Off In Wisconsin
Republican candidates for Wisconsin governor faced off Sunday night, making their pitch to GOP voters in Milwaukee.
Former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was the “clear” winner, at least according to conservative Wisconsin radio host Dan O’Donnell.
During the debate, Trump-backed candidate Tim Michels continually pointed to his business experience, saying he hoped to direct young people to trade schools. Michels also said he would:
Back universal school choice
Oppose Red Flag laws
Support paid family leave
Push election integrity bills
Meanwhile, Kleefisch cited her experience in office, mirroring Michels support for school choice and other issues, but she did not say if she would support paid family leave.
No Joe For Raphael
With President Joe Biden’s approval ratings hovering in the 30s, Democratic Senate candidates like Georgia’s Raphael Warnock are fleeing from the commander-in-chief.
Recently, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that journalist Shannon McCaffrey asked Warnock whether or not he thought Biden was doing a good job. Warnock wouldn’t say.
“I’m focused on the job that I’m doing standing up for the people of Georgia,” Warnock told McCaffrey.
He repeated himself when asked a second time.
“I am standing up for the people of Georgia. I’m going to fight for them every single day. When that means standing with this person, it’s based on what it does for Georgia,” the incumbent said.
Abortion Becomes Big Issue In Nevada
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) portrays herself as the key to preventing a national abortion ban. She gathered like-minded Republican women in a friend’s backyard to urge them to back her candidacy.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the Republicans in the Senate right now — that some of them are writing a draft legislation to further restrict abortion in this country,” Masto said at the campaign event this month, The Washington Post reported.
“Nevada is the seat that’s going to stop that,” she said.
Currently, Nevada guarantees abortion access, passing the bill by a large margin more than 30 years ago.
But Republican Senate nominee Adam Laxalt, speaking the next day in Las Vegas, focused on soaring gas prices and runaway inflation, blaming Democrats.
“We need someone that will actually stand up for Nevada when the Biden administration takes us away from energy independence, gives us all-time high gas, all these things we’re dealing with every single day,” said Laxalt, who is a former state attorney general but lost his bid for governor four years ago.
Cruz Steps In In Wyoming Race
Rep. Liz Cheney (R) is having a tough time in her re-election campaign — the latest poll shows her trailing her GOP primary opponent by 22 points.
And now, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is jumping into the fray, saying on Fox News that he is endorsing her primary challenger, Harriet Hageman.
“Harriet will be a rock-ribbed conservative congresswoman who will always defend the Constitution,” Cruz told the news outlet.
“She knows the importance of standing up for individual constitutional rights and fighting back against the federal government, which wants to seize more land and prevent people from being able to provide for their families.”
Hageman expressed her appreciation for endorsement. “In many ways, Texas and Wyoming face the same struggles against the relentless onslaught of the federal government, and it will be nice to know that I have another ally in the other chamber when I get to Congress.”
A Look At Cook
The Cook Political Report has been handicapping congressional races for years, so each week we’ll tell you what they think will happen in the 2022 mid-terms for the House of Representatives.
Solid Democrat — 162
Solid Republican — 191
Toss Ups — 34
Both parties each have 13 seats considered “likely” and 11 seats that “lean” their way.
But here’s an interesting pair of numbers: The Democrats currently hold 26 of the toss-up seats, while Republicans hold just 8 of those seats.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.