CNN anchor Jake Tapper grilled Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday over two-faced rhetoric attacking Republicans for being so-called “election deniers,” yet boosting their primary campaigns.
Maloney is chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
What is the background?
Democrats spent more than $53 million in primary elections boosting Republicans they believed would be easy opponents in the general election.
The candidates that Democrats supported were often those who support Donald Trump and perhaps even question the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Thus, while Democrats now bemoan Republican “election deniers,” they meddled in primary elections to boost those same candidates — at a relatively effective rate.
What happened on CNN?
Tapper questioned Maloney about recent comments he made in which he suggested only Republicans are guilty of questioning the legitimacy of elections, before confronting him over Democratic election-meddling.
“The thing is Democrats writ large have spent $53 million supporting far-right candidates — election deniers — in the primaries, including the DCCC,” Tapper began. “By amplifying these election deniers, aren’t you holding responsibility, to a degree, for the undermining of democracy that you’re also warning about?”
An exasperated Maloney first responded, “Oh my God!” before denying the DCCC positively supported any of the candidates it now claims are evidence that Republicans threaten democracy.
But Tapper quickly fact-checked him.
“Come on! You guys were boosting John Gibbs, an election denier, a MAGA Republican, so that he would beat Congressman Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the Capitol attacks,” Tapper shot back. “You thought Gibbs would be easier for your Democratic candidate to beat. So, you boosted him. That’s the only reason he won that race!”
Tapper presses DCCC Chair over Dem spending in Republican primary races
Maloney responded by accusing Tapper of trying to be “kind of cute” for challenging him, but conceded the DCCC did spend money to boost Gibbs. He tried to minimize it, however, by saying the DCCC only spent $400,000 out of a $340 million budget on it.
Tapper responded by highlighted the irony of Democratic hypocrisy, noting the DCCC, in boosting Gibbs, helped defeat Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.).
“When people like you say, ‘Where are all the good Republicans’— you help defeat one of them!” Tapper exclaimed.
In the end, Maloney defended the support, exclaiming that he will not exercise “defeatism.”