'She is weighing us down': Georgia GOP cringes at Marjorie Taylor Greene spectacle

This is what a nightmare scenario looks like.

After the party swayed in the wake of its dissolution in 2020 – when it lost too many centrist voters – Republicans now fear Greene will emerge as the face of the GOP and smear the entire ticket with a stamp of conspiracy theory and extremism becomes. until halfway through 2022.

“If you have common sense, you know she’s an anchor at the party. It weighs us down, ”said Gabriel Sterling, a Republican election administrator who has become a leading voice in criticizing the baseless electoral conspiracy theories advocated by Trump and his supporters like Greene.

“Some people may say [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi will kick her out, ”said Sterling of Congress, referring to the House Speaker. “The Democrats would never kick them out. They want her to be the definition of what a Republican is. You will give her every opportunity to speak, be heard and look crazy – like on Wednesday, the Jewish space laser to start fires. I mean, I don’t know how far down the rabbit hole you are. “

Judging by old social media posts and videos that popped up last week, this hole is pretty deep. Greene has promoted the conspiracy theory that Space laser caused wildfires in California that school shootings were jokes and suggested that it should be the spokeswoman for the house, Nancy Pelosi executed for treason.

Greene is expected to play a pivotal role as a campaign theme in 2022 when Sterling Chief Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, along with two other top Republicans, Governor Brian Kemp and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, standing for re-election.

All three are likely to face major challenges, but Raffensperger’s role in overseeing elections in the state and the decision of his office to do so secretly record Trump, asking him to somehow find votes to discard the presidential election results, has made him a top target for Trump supporters.

With this in mind, Greene – who is also running for re-election in the conservative northwest corner of the state where Republicans must fight – is expected to play an increased role.

Establishment Republicans fear that if the GOP nominates Conservatives from the Trump and Greene wings of the party, it will suffer the same fate as Republicans Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who lost on Jan. 5.

Loeffler’s opponent, Senator Raphael Warnock, is up for re-election in 2022 and could share the ticket with Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic Board of Governors candidate who is preparing to run again.

Both Democrats are black, which exacerbates the issue of race – an issue that Greene has pursued, who has made racist and racially insensitive remarks in the past.

Top Loeffler advisors say Trump likely cost them the election and Greene wasn’t a factor. But it could be in 2022 after saturation coverage of Greene’s previous comments.

“Greene was just a symptom of what is going on in the Republican Party in the state and frankly in the nation in our elections,” said a Loeffler adviser. “But in 2022 it will be a symbol, assuming it isn’t already.”

During Greene’s 2020 race, Kemp privately advised Greene to “tone it down,” according to a source brought up on the conversation. But he’s now in such a weakened position due to a longstanding feud with Trump that he’s leaving Greene alone, at least for now.

“We’re taking fire and there’s not much we can do right now,” said a Kemp consultant.

Chip Lake, Advisor to 2020 Senate candidate and former MP Doug Collins, echoed other Georgia Republicans who hoped President Joe Biden and the Democrats who control Congress would overwhelm the state and swing to the right during mid-2022.

Until then, he said, Kemp and other top Republicans will play for time.

“It’s the legislature here in Georgia, so Kemp can say that’s his focus and that Marjorie Taylor Greene is a federal problem,” said Lake. “But over time it becomes Kemp’s problem and it has the potential to be a problem for all of us.”

Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the minority House of Representatives, is under pressure to punish Greene, but Republican insiders in Georgia fear he might not sanction them because Greene is an energetic wing of the party and he feels he is cannot afford to risk punishing any of Trump’s preferred offices. owner.

Some Georgia Republicans accuse McCarthy and his allies in the House Freedom Caucus of first supporting Greene’s offer for Congress and then doing little to stop them during the 2020 primaries after their red-hot social media posts for the first Times came to light.

At least one member of the state’s GOP congressional delegation, Rep. Jody Hice, withdrew his approval during the election campaign, saying he had found what Greene said.appalling and deeply disturbing. ”

After Hice got his support from Greene, A group of Republicans tried to raise support for an external political committee to take over during the primary, but they were unable to raise money because “McCarthy was no help,” said a strategist involved in the discussions.

The group even posted a proposed TV commercial on YouTube of Hice’s decision – the spot called her “not correctBecause she moved to the district to run for the seat. Another member of staff said another group of Republicans have a plan for another committee, but “McCarthy went without the donors. We couldn’t raise any money. “

When asked about the allegations, a McCarthy spokesman did not comment on them but said their comments were deeply troubling and that Leader McCarthy was planning to speak to the congressman about them.

Georgia Republicans expect Greene to face a major challenge, and some are hoping that somehow, during the redistribution, she could be dragged into a tougher seat. But they do acknowledge that she is popular in her district.

Greene’s main antagonist in 2020, Dr. John Cowan, is considering facing them again. He accused McCarthy, Trump’s chief of staff at the White House, Mark Meadows and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, of supporting them. He said Democrats are already making Greene, known by her initials “MTG,” the face of the Republican Party – much like the Republicans attempted to brand Democrats as the party of New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

“MTG is the AOC of the GOP. But as much as I hate to say it, AOC is nowhere as crazy as it is here, ”said Cowan. “I’m a neurosurgeon. I diagnose crazy every day. It took her five minutes to find out that there were bats in the attic. And then we saw that she had skeletons in the closet.”

A Greene spokesperson did not return email soliciting comments on the story, nor did he identify GOP chairman David Shafer.

One of Greene’s close allies is Georgian attorney Lin Wood, who was at the center of the GOP conflict and represented her during the primaries by threatening legal action against a Cowan supporter who criticized her on social media. Adviser to Cowan’s Campaign, the showed the controversy in an ad, said they found it ironic that Greene – who wore a “censorship” mask to protest against big tech companies flagging posts and banning accounts – blocked the man featured in the ad and other critics on her Facebook Page was presented.

Greene had an early leg in her crowded elementary school for 2020 because she ran for another seat in the state but moved to 14th Congressional District when Rep. Tom Graves unexpectedly retired. Nobody else had a campaign staff or the support Greene already had thanks to McCarthy and his allies, said Luke Martin, GOP chairman in Floyd County, one of the district’s 12 counties.

Martin said Greene worked hard by holding multiple events and continues to give town halls in the district. And, he said, she’s not talking about QAnon or other wild conspiracy theories, nor was she on the stump.

“The people I’ve spoken to here say, ‘I like Marjorie, but wow, I wish she hadn’t said that stuff,” Martin said. “The Marjorie we know in the district isn’t this Twitter- Person with laser beam from space. “

In Gordon County, GOP chairwoman Kathleen Thorman said there was a feeling that Greene was misrepresented in the mainstream news media. Greene voters, Thorman said, valued some of their early actions in Congress, like their petition to indict Biden for wanting to know more about his son’s business when he was vice president.

“People are crazy because they feel like Congress and the media are trying to silence their voices. You voted for her and they feel like their voice is being silenced, ”Thorman said. “In two years, when she runs again, we’ll see what happens.”

Tony Abernathy, Murray County’s GOP chairman, echoed a similar sentiment in a text message: “The real story is we love Marjorie Taylor Greene and we are tired of national media coming to Georgia to tell us, like us should think in their district. “

Brian Robinson, an adviser to former Republican Governor Nathan Deal, feared the criticism of Greene will lead to exactly the rally effect she sees in the district and her fundraiser, which will raise her profile and ensure that Republicans across the state “Always there. Present in this circular firing squad why we are losing elections. “

Greene, he said, has an “it” factor and a mastery of social media that ensure the attention of the news media, outrage over her critics, and the recognition and campaign contributions of her base.

“Here’s the problem with Marjorie Taylor Greene: you can’t look away. She has great camera exposure. She has great TV presence. She’s a natural, true talent,” said Robinson. “The question is, is she an idiot who is a natural talent or whether she is just a cynical manipulator. I just think she’s a real idiot who’s great on camera. But we will see. “

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