Democrats’ attempts to tie Republican midterm nominees to Donald Trump and make them look extreme worked and succeeded in stopping the GOP from flipping or holding key legislative and gubernatorial seats, former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen said Wednesday.
During Fox News’ coverage of the midterm election results, Thiessen, a Fox News contributor, said that when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced his Contract with America, pro-Trump Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., was positioned prominently behind him – and it sent the wrong message.
“That was the image that the Republican Party presented,” he said. “The Democrats’ anti-MAGA strategy worked alright. They went and they spent tens of millions of dollars to nominate MAGA candidates.”
Thiessen pointed to several conservatives who saw either their Democratic opponents or PACs tied to people like Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., run advertisements calling them extreme and connecting them to Trump.
“[They] bit bought ads to get Don Bolduc elected. He lost in [New Hampshire]. In Michigan, John Gibbs was nominated thanks to the Democratic money over Peter Meijer. who voted to impeach Trump. Gibbs lost,” he said.
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“In Pennsylvania. Josh Shapiro spent $840,000 to boost Doug Mastriano [who] lost,” he said, adding that the same was true for social conservative State Del. Dan Cox, the unsuccessful Maryland GOP gubernatorial candidate.
However, Cox was also opposed by outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan – a fellow Republican who railed against Cox in light of the nominee’s attempt to impeach him over COVID lockdown measures and comments he made about Vice President Mike Pence.
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Former Bush adviser Karl Rove added that Republicans still may take control of the U.S. House, though by the same slim margin Democrats have held it.
“Where we are likely to find ourselves in a place where we are governing the House narrowly from the Republican side, just like the Democrats have,” he said.
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“The difference is, is that we’re not going to be out there trying to transform America by passing legislation that can be signed by the president of the United States.”
McCarthy told a throng of supporters at a victory party in Washington, D.C, early Wednesday morning that taking back the House was possible because of the diverse array of candidates Republicans had recruited this cycle.
“If you believe in freedom, hard work and the American Dream these results prove there is a place for you in the Republican Party,” said McCarthy. “We are expanding this party.”