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“The DCCC is not God.”
As it tries to hold onto its House majority in a hostile electoral climate, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has embraced an old political trick—spending money in Republican primaries to elevate candidates it believes will be easier to beat in November.
But the DCCC isn’t just bolstering Republicans who aren’t very good campaigners or who might be poor fundraisers—in Michigan’s third congressional district, it’s specifically spending money to boost John Gibbs, an election-denying Trump loyalist, over incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer, one of a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after January 6. Specifically, the DCCC has spent $435,000 on ads that call Gibbs “too conservative for West Michigan” and note that he was “handpicked by Trump”:
It might sound a lot like a standard attack ad, but it takes on a much different context during a GOP primary, where all of the things described in the ad are quite popular; the purpose is to link Gibbs and Trump in the minds of Trump voters.
Meijer isn’t happy about this, telling Politico that he’s “sick and tired of hearing the sanctimonious bullshit about the Democrats being the pro-democracy party.” But interestingly, a number of Democratic members of Congress aren’t happy either, and they’ve criticized the move publicly. New York Rep. Kathleen Rice, for example, called the use of campaign funds to help election deniers “unconscionable.” Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips said it was “just damn wrong.”
On ABC’s This Week on Sunday, New York Rep. Ritchie Torres joined the parade of Democratic critics, slamming the move as “embarrassingly hypocritical.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 31, 2022