Even as President Joe Biden has warned voters of electing “MAGA Republicans” to office, Democrats have been spending millions of dollars to help them win primaries, per a new Washington Post report released on Tuesday.
The report, comprising analysis by The Washington Post, found that Democratic groups had spent $53 million on ads against GOP primary candidates. The attack ads were directed at candidates seen as more politically moderate, effectively helping their Trump-endorsed and Trump-aligned challengers win the primary.
The biggest expenditure was in the Illinois gubernatorial race, where the campaign of incumbent Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Democratic Governors’ Association spent a total of $34.5 million to elevate Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey in the primary, which he won on June 28. Bailey was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and has questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Campaign spending in support of other pro-Trump Republican candidates amounts to nearly $19 million, with the largest expenditure coming from the Senate Majority PAC, which has spent $3.2 million to help retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc win New Hampshire’s GOP Senate Primary. The PAC’s ads have targeted state Sen. Chuck Morse, a moderate candidate endorsed by Gov. Chris Sununu, as “another sleazy politician.”
Veronica Yoo, a spokeswoman for the PAC, told the Post that the attacks were in response to Morse’s criticism of Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, who is running for re-election in the state.
Democrats spent significant amounts in six gubernatorial primaries, two Senate primaries and five House primaries to support populist Republican candidates, according to the Post. These included support for Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who is the GOP nominee, where such groups spent $1.2 million.
They also spent over $4 million in the Colorado GOP Senate primary, though moderate candidate Joe O’Dea defeated populist State Rep. John Hanks, as well as nearly $7 million in gubernatorial races in Nevada, Colorado and Michigan.
Politically savvy, according to some. “Morally wrong and tactically off-base,” others say. https://t.co/mOscOtaxN0
— Julie Bykowicz (@bykowicz) September 13, 2022
The spending comes even as President Joe Biden has made opposition to Trump-endorsed and Trump-aligned GOP candidates, whom he terms “MAGA Republicans,” the primary focus of the Democrats’ midterm campaigns. In a major speech in Philadelphia on Sept. 1, Biden said that they “threaten the very foundations of our republic.”
The Democrats’ spending patterns have been criticized by some in the party. Former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, who represented Missouri in the House for 28 years, told the Post that such spending was “a red line.”
“A candidate who is not for having elections anymore has got to be kept out of office. We have to protect democracy. Democracy is a fragile thing,” he said, adding that the party was “playing with fire” by spending to promote them.
The Senate Majority PAC did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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