A new Washington Post story highlights how top Republicans like Mike Pence, Glenn Youngkin, and Nikki Haley are actively campaigning for election-denying extremists across the country as they think about their future ambitions, despite previously distancing themselves from election lies. A recent New York Times investigation also found that about 70 percent of the GOP midterm candidates running for Congress have either questioned or flat-out denied the results of the 2020 election. One thing is clear: This is the “new normal” for the GOP.
Trump’s former MAGA wingman Mike Pence keeps trying to have it both ways and claim credit for doing his constitutionally required duty — and yet he boosted TWO election deniers just last week.
Washington Post: “Pence has said Trump was ‘wrong’ to pressure him to reject the electoral college votes… But as Pence has begun laying the groundwork to run in 2024, he isn’t seeking to make opposing Trump core to his political brand. Last week, Pence appeared in Phoenix to endorse Senate candidate Blake Masters of Arizona… Pence also led a fundraiser for Burt Jones, the Republican nominee for Georgia’s lieutenant governor who was part of the effort… to submit phony electors claiming Trump won the state in 2020.”
Virginia GOP Governor Glenn Youngkin has been taking his roadshow across the country, stumping for candidates like Kari Lake and Tudor Dixon — BOTH of whom spread conspiracy theories about the results of the 2020 election.
Washington Post: “[Youngkin] avoided acknowledging Biden’s legitimacy until after winning the primary, and avoided saying whether he would have voted to certify the electoral college vote if he were in Congress… Now, as Youngkin has met with donors considering a presidential bid, he’s campaigning with gubernatorial candidates who have unabashedly run on Trump’s election lies, such as Kari Lake in Arizona and Tudor Dixon in Michigan.”
Nikki Haley has campaigned twice with GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc — the same man who said that “Trump won the election, and damn it, I stand by my oath!” She has also appeared with Adam Laxalt, one of the loudest election deniers on the campaign trail.
Washington Post: “… Nikki Haley swore off campaigning for Republicans who repeat ex-president Donald Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen… In fact, both before and after that interview, she has endorsed and campaigned with a slate of Senate candidates who reject or question the 2020 election results as she positions herself as a potential 2024 presidential candidate. Haley appeared at a rally Tuesday with Don Bolduc of New Hampshire… She also campaigned with Adam Laxalt of Nevada…”
The Hill: “Both Bolduc and Laxalt pushed former President Trump’s false claims of 2020 election fraud during their primary campaigns…”
This isn’t unique to them — about 70 percent of GOP congressional candidates this cycle have either questioned or flat-out denied the results of the 2020 presidential election.
New York Times: “ [Republican midterm candidates] are united by at least one issue: They have all expressed doubt about the legitimacy of the 2020 election. And they are the new normal of the Republican Party… The Times investigation found that about 70 percent of Republicans running for Congress had questioned the election of President Biden, who won seven million more votes and 74 more electors than Mr. Trump.”
Make no mistake: Election denialism is the GOP’s “new normal” — and Republicans like Mike Pence, Glenn Youngkin, and Nikki Haley are helping drive it into the party mainstream as they try to worm their way into 2024 contention.