This morning, Detroit Free Press is out with the latest profile examining snake oil salesman Garrett Soldano, “a man of complexities and contradictions” who continues to run on a wrong-for-Michigan platform that would harm working families.
The piece runs through several pillars of his agenda, including his well-documented anti-abortion extremism that would force pregnancy on survivors of sexual assault and push for “massive spending cuts” to critical services like public education, local law enforcement, and Michigan’s roads and bridges. To communicate his backwards message, Soldano has been on the air with TV ads that even he admitted “does not portray current reality.”
With just over 30 days until the Republican gubernatorial primary, Soldano, like the rest of the crowded field, is competing in a chaotic primary “in which ‘undecided’ is still the top choice” and known and charged insurrectionist Ryan Kelley – who Soldano has defended –continues to earn widespread attention.
See excerpts below on Soldano’s “hard to reconcile” stances and read the full report here.
Detroit Free Press: Who is Garrett Soldano? Meet Far-Right Michigan Chiropractor Running for Governor
By Paul Egan
Far-right celebrity came suddenly for Garrett Soldano as an early leader in the 2020 fight against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 emergency orders.
His Facebook group, Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine, exploded with hundreds of thousands of followers before the social media company shut it down, saying it violated its community guidelines by spreading misinformation about the pandemic. […]
More than two years later, the pandemic grinds on, but with less intensity. Whitmer, a Democrat who is seeking a second four-year term, has long stopped issuing pandemic orders. Soldano, 44, who announced his bid for governor in April 2021, is struggling to stand out in a field of five little-known Republican candidates. […]
“He’s a great inspirational speaker,” said [Byron Center resident Linda] Procter, who works in information technology and saw her own job shift from a corporate office to her home. Still, “to be a governor you’re not just running on COVID stuff.”
Procter said she also likes what Soldano, who says he is unvaccinated, has said on other issues, including the economy and government transparency. Barring some dramatic revelation, “I would definitely most likely vote for him,” she said.
Soldano, a married father of two who authored a 2013 self-help book for parents, will have to similarly convince far more voters ahead of the Aug. 2 GOP primary if he hopes to prevail in a race in which “undecided” is still the top choice. […]
After releasing a TV ad last October — the first for any candidate in the governor’s race — that highlighted his work opposing Whitmer’s pandemic orders, Soldano next made headlines in January when he said in a TV interview with Real America’s Voice that he favors an abortion ban that includes no exception for incest or rape victims. Soldano said rape victims should be educated on how “heroic” it is for them give birth, because “that little baby inside them may be the next president.”
Procter said Soldano’s abortion stance is her “least favorite” part of his platform. “I would rather have exceptions,” she said.
Soldano’s next TV ad, released one week after Kelley’s arrest, falsely suggests “gender reassignment services” are or will be available to students at Michigan schools, without parental notification. Soldano described the ad as his attack on the “woke groomer mafia” that “wants to indoctrinate and subjugate our kids.”
Challenged Sunday to identify a Michigan school offering gender reassignment — with or without parental notification — Soldano conceded the ad does not portray current reality. “I really feel that’s exactly where things are going,” he said. […]
Ask Soldano about some of Michigan’s long-standing and significant state issues, and his responses are much less bold. […]
“Before I open my mouth and say an opinion, I want to make sure I know what I’m talking about,” Soldano said. […]
Soldano said he wants to eliminate the personal income tax, which raises about $13 billion a year, and further reduce corporate taxes, which raise about $1.5 billion.
He said he would eliminate “wasteful spending,” and said at a May debate he favors big cuts to university funding, but in two interviews offered no other specifics for the massive spending cuts that would appear necessary to allow for those tax cuts, even when pressed on the issue.
Instead, Soldano, who has called for an ill-defined “forensic audit” of Michigan’s 2020 presidential election results, said he would use “forensic accounting” to subject each state program to a line-by-line review aimed at identifying and eliminating waste. […]
Soldano’s campaign has shown promise in several respects.
He was the first candidate to submit his nominating signatures, and his petition was not subject to opponent challenges plagued by fraudulent signatures that doomed higher-profile candidates such as former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Oakland County businessman and “quality guru” Perry Johnson.
Soldano’s early fundraising was relatively strong. […]
When GOP candidates for governor gathered in Howell for their first debate, Soldano easily received the biggest ovation from the large crowd, more than 100 miles away from his home county. That grassroots support has buoyed Soldano’s poll numbers, but there are signs he may be slipping as Kelley’s profile soars and spending by Rinke and in support of Dixon goes up.
Beyond that, Soldano is a man of complexities and contradictions.
His book, “God’s True Law: A Parent’s Guide To Raising Successful Children,” touts the powers of positive thinking, and the “universal laws of attraction,” melding pseudo-scientific views about goal-setting, energy and the repetition of positive affirmations with his Catholic beliefs. […]
In one striking section of the book, Soldano describes his own racial awakening as someone who never interacted with Black people until he got to college. He says he developed unconscious racist beliefs after hearing, at age 10, a relative direct the N-word at a motorist who cut him off and after growing up with movies and music that portrayed African Americans as “drug dealing, gang banging thieves who take all the white people’s jobs.”
When he arrived at football camp at WMU in 1996, Soldano feared having his possessions stolen in a locker room he shared with many Black players. […]
Although his book describes in highly personal terms the implicit biases at the root of systemic racism in American society, Soldano denied in an interview that white privilege exists.
“That’s the narrative that they push, because they’re trying to tell us that our country is racist,” he said. In reality, there are individuals who are racist and evil, but “the majority of Americans, the majority of Michiganders, they’re good people,” and “if you work hard enough, good things will happen.”