POLITICO reported in June that Greene had posted hours of Facebook videos in which she made a trove of racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic comments – including a claim that black people are “held slaves for the Democratic Party”, and that George Soros, a Jewish Democrat megadonor, is a Nazi.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in June – through his spokesman, Drew Florio – that he found these comments “scary” and that he had “no tolerance for them.” But Florio said last week that California Republicans remain neutral and let the primary process play out ̵
“This is the kind of race and kind of situation where you need those groups,” said Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Who actively supports Cowan. “So often they only get involved when they have someone they are trying to get into. But I think it’s just as important that they get involved when there is someone they are trying to get out of.”
The lack of intervention from national Republicans – despite their public punishments of Greene – has frustrated and puzzled GOP legislators, strategists and donors, who worry Greene’s victory would be a black eye for the party at a time when they are still fighting a national bill for racial equality .
And that would reduce the impact of the party’s successful efforts in June to remove the GOP’s rope. Steve King (R-Iowa), a member with a long history of racist remarks. If Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist and businesswoman, earns the party’s nomination in the deeply conservative district of northwest Georgia, she’s almost guaranteed a seat in the House.
“I have been very involved in the John Cowan race. I have driven the House leadership to get involved without success, ”added a GOP legislator, who was given anonymity to discuss sensitive internal issues.
The reluctance of McCarthy – who may face a leadership challenge if Trump goes down in November – to get involved in the race underscores the tough position the leadership is in: While they want to distance the party from the deeply controversial views expressed by Greene, they also do not want to promote the hard lines of conservative voters who are an important part of Trump’s base in the election.
And it’s not just the Green race that has terrified House GOP operatives. The primary catchment area for Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) Grann Open space includes State Representative Matt Gurtler, who came under fire after posing for a photo of a man with white supremacist ribbons. But that race, which is also on Tuesday, has seen a spike in spending outside of various PACs.
GOP leadership and the party’s campaign arm do not usually play in premieres, and it can be risky to take a picture of a fellow Republican and miss: GOP Conference President Liz Cheney (Wyo.) Recently came under fire from some House Freedom Caucus members and other Trump allies for supporting a primary opponent of the rope. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Among other comments that shook Trump’s most loyal house foot soldiers. Cheney – who was one of the most vocal Republicans when he called on King to quit – later withdrew his support for Massie’s main opponent after previous racist tweets from the candidate resurfaced.
When it comes to the match between Greene and Cowan, GOP legislators and strategists believe that outside help can easily tip the scales. While Greene won the first round of the primary in June with a wide 19-point limit, the race has drastically improved in the following weeks: An internal Cowan campaign survey from the end of July found a tied race between him and Greene.
Plus, Cowan has outperformed Greene on television by about $ 50,000, according to a source who tracks media spending, and surpassed her by almost a four to a margin in July, indicating a well-run campaign.
In an interview, Cowan framed the results of the abduction in terrible terms, warning that a victory for Greene would jeopardize Republican candidates who would have to answer for her comments upside down in the Georgia vote, from the House’s battlefields in the suburbs of Atlanta to two Senate races in November. vote.
“I want to win this race,” he said. “But more than that, I want to protect the Republican Party. She is the antithesis of the Republican Party. And she’s not conservative – she’s crazy. “
And he warned that Democrats could use her comments to raise funds for their candidates. “She deserves a YouTube channel, not a seat in Congress. She’s a circus act, Cowan said.
Green’s campaign did not respond to a request to interview the candidate for this story. Throughout the campaign, she has cast Cowan as enough support for Trump for donating to the former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the 2016 race. She has also accused him of misrepresenting his role as a deputy to the Floyd County Sheriff’s office.
Despite the amount of racist Facebook videos revealed by POLITICO, Greene still has high-profile support in Washington: She is supported by the House Freedom Fund, the political arm of the Freedom Caucus; Rope. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a top Trump ally; and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and his wife, Debbie Meadows. When seated, rep. Tom Graves, announcing his resignation, encouraged Freedom Caucus Greene to abandon his race in the rival 6th District, where the former GOP’s rep. Karen Händel made a comeback bid and ran for the open seat, which was more conservative, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Greene said in a new interview with a local news station that she and McCarthy have spoken “several times” since the POLITICO story was published, and they have a “great relationship.” She also claimed that McCarthy’s statement of condemnation – which was distributed by an employee – was merely a “miscommunication.”
McCarthy’s spokesman confirmed that he has “spoken several times on the phone with both Greene and Cowan in recent weeks” and has “a good and productive relationship with both”, but did not comment on the truth in Green’s statement.
Cowan described his communication with McCarthy as a “good conversation,” according to Carter. “I do not know what happened after that,” Carter added.
But if Cowan waited for the cavalry, it never came.
In the absence of national intervention, a dozen members have worked to increase Cowan through public approvals, calling on his behalf or joining his Zoom campaign event. That group includes Scalise, Carter and rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Rick Allen (R-Ga.), Greg Murphy (RN.C.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), James Comer (R-Ky.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) And Mark Walker (RN. C.).
“John Cowan is a good candidate,” Carter said, “but we are very concerned about the other candidate as well. … And I really do not want anyone to make such comments at my conference.”
Scalise, who immediately approved of Cowan after Green’s earlier comments – which he called “disgusting” – came to light, appearing at a virtual fundraiser for Cowan in late July. But no help has come in the form of large expenditures outside.
Walker, a former pastor who is retiring this year after the court’s ordered district, turned his seat into a secure democratic territory, and unsuccessfully lobbied the Conservative club for growth to get involved, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The club considered playing in the race and tried, but eventually stopped supporting Cowan or spending. (However, it is making a major investment in the primary runoff in Georgia’s 9th district for Gurtler.)
A new super PAC, called A Great America PAC, was formed in June, and the operators behind the group cut a TV ad that cast Greene as a threat to Trump’s re-election. The group reported that they spent $ 30,000 on media production – but booked only about $ 17,000 on a cable purchase, according to media sources.
Republicans in DC and Georgia attribute part of the lack of spending to the deteriorating political environment. Donors are too distracted by Trump’s flinging ballot papers and the insecure Senate majority to draw attention to a congressional primary runoff for a deep-red seat – especially because it seems increasingly Republicans are unlikely to reclaim the majority, and McCarthy has not announced that Greene should be stopped.
Some House Republicans are angry at Freedom Caucus for strengthening Green’s candidacy in the first place and believe the group should have revoked its approval. Rep. Only. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) Publicly withdrew her support. Jordan said in a brief statement that he did not agree with her comments.
If Greene wins, she could create a constant stream of headaches – and controversy – for House GOP. Republican leaders were forced to remove King from office and formally punish him on the floor after he defended white supremacy and white nationalism in an interview with The New York Times last year.
Democrats are poised to strike at a Greene victory and ride her controversial statements to Republican House candidates across the country – most notably Handel and Republican Rich McCormick, who drives in an open battlefield in the suburbs of Atlanta. McCormick’s wife donated to Greene while she was still driving in the 6th District against Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.).
“Marjorie Taylor Greene is an extreme, right-wing activist and embraced by Georgia Republicans like Karen Handel and Rich McCormick and her views have no place in Congress,” DCCC spokesman Avery Jaffe said in a statement. “Georgia Republicans and Republican candidates running across the country must answer for her hateful views in their own campaigns.”
And Greene is already signaling that she has no interest in playing nicely with her potential future colleagues, doubling down on some of her most controversial comments and hitting Scalise and Cheney in her latest interview with a local news station.
“Steve Scalise, I was very surprised, especially since he’s been called a racist and things like that before,” said Greene, a blatant reference to the 2002 Louisiana Republican speech to a white supremacist group. Liz Cheney, I’ve never met or talked to her. I think it was unfortunate that they were pressured, probably pressured so to speak, perhaps by people in the media, to speak out about me and that they just had not taught me anything yet. “