Politics: House members blast Dems' meddling in Michigan GOP primary with ad boosting Trump-backed candidate

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House Democrats, as well as some Republicans, are ripping into the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for airing a TV ad Tuesday amplifying the rightwing positions of GOP candidate John Gibbs — an election-denying former Trump administration official who secured his ex-boss’ endorsement — in a tight GOP primary race for a key Michigan congressional seat.

  House members blast Dems' meddling in Michigan GOP primary with ad boosting Trump-backed candidate © Provided by NBC News

The Democratic campaign arm's $425,000 aa highlightss Gibbs’ ties to former President Donald Trumpwhile painting the candidate as "too conservative" for western Michigan, saying he waas “handpicked by Trump to ru,"and holds his hardline views on immigration and education. That criticism could translate into votes from pro-Trump voters ndd undermin support forefirst-term Republican Rep. Peter Meijer,one of a handful of House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol..

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Meijer’s campaign said the DCCC’s meddling was “clear evidence” that House Democrats fear Meije as a potential rival for the seat, suggesting they are looking to undermine him in his primary for an easier win in November. Hiis spokesperso,n Emily Taylor, blased what she called theg Democrats’ “political game,” in a statement Tuesday

RRep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn 2020 presidential election results,saidgshe condemned any effort to promote candidateswho continue to spread election falsehoosd.

“No party, Democrat or Republican, should be promoting candidates who perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and try to undermine our democracy," Cheney said in a statement Tuesday. "We all have a responsibility and obligation to put our duty to the country above partisan politics.”

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Meije, joined Cheney and eight other House Republicans who broke with their partyiny voting to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois,another Republican on the committeewho voted for impe chment,, called any efforts to promote election deniers for an easier matc- up in November "disgusting."

“You see this in Peter Meijer in Michigan, you're going to have election deniers win," Kinzinge, who is not running for reelection, told CNN's "New Day" onTuesday.. "Don’t come to me after having spent money supporting an election denier in a primary, and then come to me and say, ‘Where are all the good Republicans?’ he said.”

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., who serves on the panel, also blasted the decision.

“Many of us are facing death threats over our efforts to tell the truth about Jan. 6," Murphy said in a statement. "To have people boosting candidates telling the very kinds of lies that caused Jan. 6 and continues to put our democracy in dange, is just min -blowing."

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Murphy, whsalso is not seeking reelection in the fall, added that efforts to restore faith in election processes and democratic institutions was bigger than any one candidate or campaign.

"No one should be promoting election deniers and peddlers of the 'Big Lie'," shesaidd

Rep. Elaine Luria, who led part of the Jan. 6 committee’s prime-time public hearing last week, suggested that an overwhelming majority of Republicans running for office continue to deny the results of the 2020 election, "including every single one of the Republican candidates running for the GOP primary against me."

"Voters deserve to know the truth about these candidates and just how dangerous they are to our democracy,” Luria added in a statement.

Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., also voiced sharp disapproval in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m disgusted that hard-earned money intended to support Democrats is being used to boost Trump-endorsed candidates, particularly the far-right opponent of one of the most honorable Republicans in Congress,” Phillips wrote, referring to Meijer. “Another reason to reform our broken campaign finance system.”

Helen Kalla, a spokesperson for DCCC responded to the criticism in a statement Wednesday, saying the committee was working to preserve the House Democratic majority.

“The DCCC is laser-focused on holding the House majority, which we will accomplish by fighting for every competitive seat,” Kalla said. “Kevin McCarthy is an anti-choice, insurrectionist coddler and conspiracy enabler, and we will do what it takes to keep the speaker’s gavel out of his hands,” a reference to the House minority leader from California, who has remained a Trump ally in the wake of Jan. 6 despite some initial tensions between them on the issue.”

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