Dems Meddled in GOP Senate Recruitment to Create Election Chaos (Newsmax)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 15 November 2022 10:03 AM EST
Democrats carried out a plan to discourage strong potential Republican candidates from running for Senate seats, The New York Times is reporting.
The plan was hatched in 2021 by Democrat strategists and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., the newspaper said. Peters, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee informed staff members that the best chance for Democrats to keep control of the Senate was to focus on four seats: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
"We knew we needed to localize the races and disqualify our Republican opponents," said David Bergstein, the group's communications director.
But Peters also authorized a bit of meddling in the GOP's Senate recruitment effort, according to the Times.
The plan had two main parts: convincing potentially strong Republicans from entering races against those "core four" Democratic incumbents, and "maximizing the chaos" within Republican primaries.
They called it the "Summer of Chaos."
Particularly concerning to Democrats were Republican Govs. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire and Doug Ducey of Arizona, the newspaper noted. Republican leaders were making a strong effort to recruit them for Senate races.
But the Democrats targeted Sununu for his shifting position on abortion, the Times said. The Times pointed out that in 2016 he had said he was "pro-choice, but with some caveats."
But in June 2021 he signed a bill restricting abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions made for rape or incest.
Newspapers began to pick up on the Democrats' plan to go after Sununu's abortion stance.
"Targeting Sununu over abortion will be a key part of the Democrat's playbook," said a June 2021, article in The Concord Monitor, referring to the incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan.
Sununu eventually backed away from making a Senate bid, and allies of the governor say abortion had nothing to do with it.
In Arizona, the Democrats' point of leverage on Ducey was his refusal in 2020 to go along with former President Donald Trump's insistence that the presidential election was stolen.
Still, some Republican leaders tried to get him to run for the Senate. But Democrats learned of meetings with Ducey and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and passed it to reporters in the hope that it would anger Trump and lead to the former president blasting Ducey.
And at a rally in Jan. 15, 2002, rally in Arizona, Trump trashed Ducey as "a terrible, terrible representative of your state."
On Feb. 14, Trump warned that his strongest supporters would not back a senatorial campaign by Ducey.
"MAGA will never accept RINO Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona running for the U.S. Senate — So save your time, money, and energy, Mitch!" Trump said in a statement.
The former president blames Ducey for not helping to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss in Arizona. Trump and allies insist voter fraud in Maricopa County led to President Joe Biden's victory in the state by little more than 10,000 votes, and that Ducey did nothing about it.