After stepping on the “exploratory” question-dodging strategy cooked up by his political consultants, James Craig is now attempting to undo announcement that he’s officially running

LANSING — As Republican candidate for governor James Craig dodges questions and can’t even give a clear answer on if he’s running, new reporting from Detroit Free Press details the latest development in what’s been a clunky, sloppy, and “unclear” rollout for Craig, who announced a sham “exploratory” committee (which does not exist at the state level) and said he wouldn’t be officially in until Labor Day, only to fully throw himself in before Wednesday was over.

Last night on Tucker Carlson, Craig said definitively, “I gotta tell you, I’m running” and then took to Twitter to share the clip of him saying so with his followers.

This morning, the new primary entrant doesn’t sound as sure since he knows being considered a full-fledged candidate means he now faces more pressure to venture away from the safe territory of national network shows and the chummy, softball question-asking anchors that host them.

This morning on WJR-AM, Craig attempted to go back to the have-it-both-ways vague political space he’s made a home in since May by “not disput[ing] the host’s assertions that he is now in the race, but…not explicitly say[ing] he is a candidate, as he appeared to do during a Wednesday night national TV interview.”

Then, he sent his insider consultants out on clean up duty. John Yob — who has been passing himself off as Craig’s “private citizen volunteer” to skirt Michigan campaign finance law — made a weak attempt at undoing Craig’s cable fumble. Yob simply repeated that there is “a candidate committee called the Chief James Craig for Governor Exploratory Committee,” once again reinforcing the fact that the full-fledged campaign committee was always only “exploratory” in name only. Craig is officially the 8th candidate to step in the ring, and that has been a fact since Wednesday morning.

“Add ‘are you running, yes or no’ to the ever growing list of questions that James Craig refuses to answer,” said Rodericka Applewhaite, MDP spokesperson. “This is Craig gaming out how long he can have it both ways — being a gubernatorial candidate without having to be held accountable and answer basic questions about where he stands on key issues. It was an intentionally vague plan from the start, and fell apart under 24 hours by his own undoing. Craig the candidate must now figure out how to handle all those days until September that he originally had slated to keep flying under the accountability radar. Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer will continue leading from the front with new initiatives that put Michigan back to work, improve the quality of public education, and keep our economy on an upward climb.

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