One county in Michigan is promising to mount a 2022 campaign that absolutely no GOP strategist in Washington wants.
“We are determined to make the fraud of 2020 the issue of the election,” Macomb County GOP chair Mark Forton told the Macomb Daily.
The county’s GOP leaders have released a statement calling Donald Trump “our legally elected” leader and claiming his defeat in 2020 was “the culmination of a four-year coup.”
Last week, the same leaders also endorsed two conspiracy theory pushers for statewide office in 2022—Matthew DePerno for attorney general and Kristina Karamo for secretary of state. Both posts are currently held by Democrats.
When asked about their rationale for the endorsements, Forton offered, “We endorsed them both because our president endorsed them,” referring to Trump.
Washington Republicans keep promising to deliver a 2022 message that is forward-focused while criticizing the policies of President Joe Biden. But in private, GOP leaders and national strategists are fretting that Trump’s obsession with his 2020 loss will depress turnout and ruin them at the ballot box, just like it did in Georgia’s Senate runoffs earlier this year.
But Trump’s relentless push to keep major GOP candidates and state parties focused on his loss and his imaginary fraud claims has continued to completely dominate the GOP message, particularly at the state level.
In Michigan, it has pitted state GOP lawmakers both against each other and against local party leaders, like in Macomb. In fact, in June, a GOP-led state senate investigation found no credible evidence of fraud in the state. In addition, Oversight Committee Chair and state Sen. Ed McBroom called Trump’s claims “ludicrous” and said that pro-Trump conspiracy theorists should be investigated for “purposely defrauding people.”
The Macomb County GOP has obviously opted to side with Trump’s completely unsupported version of events. The Macomb Republicans also voted in August to censure the authors of the Senate report because they clearly didn’t like its conclusions.
Of course, no one has proven the report wrong, either. DePerno’s lawsuit flopped in court, but that’s who Macomb Republicans have decided to back for attorney general—the conspiracy theory pusher who may have defrauded people on the way to filing a lawsuit that proved to be a loser.