Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said Maine made a “martyr” out of former President and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump when they kicked him off the 2024 primary ballots.
As BizPac Review reported, Maine’s secretary of state, Democrat Shenna Bellows, unilaterally decided to disqualify Trump under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment which states that those who “having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” from being “a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State.”
“It makes him a martyr,” Christie told on CNN on Friday.
“You know, he’s very good at playing ‘Poor me, poor me,'” Christie said of Trump. “He’s always complaining. The poor billionaire from New York who’s spending everybody else’s money to pay his legal fees.”
Indeed, Bellows is facing brutal backlash for her partisan move, bringing even Trump’s opponents to his defense.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — likely Trump’s most formidable challenger — warned Bellows’ decision could open a “Pandora’s Box.”
“The idea that one bureaucrat in an executive position can simply unilaterally disqualify someone from office, that turns on its head every notion of constitutional due process that this country has always abided by for over 200 years,” he told Fox News’s substitute host, Jason Chaffetz. “It opens up Pandora’s box. Can you have a Republican secretary of state disqualify Biden from the ballot? Because he’s let in 8 million people illegally, a massive invasion, including from enemies of our country.”
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) December 29, 2023
“We are witnessing, in real-time, the attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement released Thursday.
Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who vowed to withdraw from “any state’s ballot that ultimately removes Trump from its ballot,” fumed over Bellows’ decision.
“This is what an *actual* threat to democracy looks like. The system is hellbent on taking this man out, the Constitution be damned,” he posted on X. “I stand by my prior pledge to *withdraw* from any state’s ballot that ultimately removes Trump from its ballot. I call on DeSantis, Christie, and Haley to do the same – or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal and brazen election interference in the GOP primary.”
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) cautioned that “Maine, Colorado, and other states that might try to bureaucratically deny ballot access to any Republican nominee should remember the U.S. House of Representatives is the ultimate arbiter of whether to certify electors from those states.”
Maine, Colorado, and other states that might try to bureaucratically deny ballot access to any Republican nominee should remember the U.S. House of Representatives is the ultimate arbiter of whether to certify electors from those states.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 29, 2023
And Maine’s Republican lawmakers are calling on Bellows to be impeached.
“I wish to impeach Secretary Bellows on the grounds that she is barring an American citizen and 45th President of the United States, who is convicted of no crime or impeachment, their right to appear on a Maine Republican Primary ballot,” state Rep. John Andrews announced in a statement Friday.
“Donald J. Trump has met all qualifications for the March 2024 Republican Presidential Primary,” he added. “He should be allowed on the ballot. This is raw partisanship and has no place in the offices of our state’s Constitutional Officers.”
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) December 30, 2023
“Maine election law allows any registered voter to challenge the eligibility of a candidate and requires the secretary of state to hold a public hearing on the challenge,” the Washington Examiner reports. “They are then given a short window to issue a decision, which would have closed this week.”
Speaking to NBC News, Bellows insisted she was “duty-bound” to remove Trump from the ballot.
“I did not choose to hold this hearing or issue a decision. I was duty-bound under Maine election laws and the Constitution,” she said.
“I am mindful that no secretary of state has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” Bellows stated. “I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection.”
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