Pelosi defends Democratic efforts to boost far-right candidates in GOP primaries


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defended efforts Friday to boost election deniers and other far-right Republican candidates Democrats say are easier to beat, despite criticism from members of her own party.

“The political decisions made there are made to promote winning the elections, Pelosi told reporters at a news conference on Friday. “We think the contrast between Democrats and Republicans as they are now is so drastic that we have to — we have to win.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee earlier this week launched a $425,000 ad reinforcing John Gibbs, a house candidate for a West Michigan district backed by former President Donald Trump.

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While the ad may appear to be an attack on Gibbs for his connections to Trump, the GOP’s primary voters may be motivated to vote for him for the same reason. A spokesman for his opponent, freshman Representative Peter Meijer, said the ad was an attempt by Democrats to increase their chances of winning the district in the fall.

Some House Democrats had criticized the Gibbs ad earlier this week, calling the dangers of elevating a former Trump official as compromising their broader message that Trump’s move is a threat to American democracy.

Pelosi’s comments came in response to a reporter who asked how the speaker reconciled the comments she has made repeatedly about the demand for a strong Republican Party with Democrats’ efforts to boost Republican candidates who decline elections.

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“I said we need a strong Republican Party, not a cult of personality, but that didn’t mean we shouldn’t have a strong Democratic Party, too,” Pelosi said.

The ad Gibbs raised was just one example of the Democratic Party’s efforts to interfere in the GOP’s primaries. Democrats also tried the state of Sen. Doug Mastriano, a far-right election denier, who stood outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, in Pennsylvania’s GOP governmental primaries.

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Nine former and current Republican officials have since publicly supported his Democratic opponent, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Democrats have meddled with a number of other races.

Earlier this month, the Democratic Governors Association posted nearly $1.2 million worth of ads promoting Trump-backed candidate Dan Cox in Maryland’s Republican primary for governor. Cox, who has supported Trump’s false claims of election theft, won the nomination.

And in the upcoming Republican gubernatorial primaries in Arizona, Democrats gave a boost to Trump-elected candidate Kari Lake, also an election denier, by highlighting past donations from her opponent Karrin Taylor Robson to Democratic candidates.