A CNN panel accused the Democratic Party of playing with fire by trying to “prop up” those who are seen as more “extreme” Republican candidates in an effort to have them lose in the general election.
Host Manu Raju called out Democrats on Sunday for “meddling” in GOP primaries, referring to the party reportedly funding campaign ads for candidates who support former President Donald Trump in the hopes that they will be beaten.
Raju, joined by Kasie Hunt, Jeremy Diamond, and others on Sunday’s edition of “Inside Politics” on CNN warned that Democrats are undercutting their own messaging about Trump and his MAGA rhetoric as “the greatest threat to democracy.”
Raju shared an ad that aired recently in Maryland where the Democratic Governor’s association funded ads that promoted Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox, who won the primary against Kelly Shulz. Shulz was chosen by current Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) to succeed him.
“Larry Hogan said the Democrats are playing with fire. Are they?” Raju asked the panel.
Democrats are wading into GOP primaries, propping up election deniers they think are easier to beat in November. But are they playing with fire? @MariannaReports @kasie @JDiamond1 @mkraju #InsidePolitics pic.twitter.com/QFBXp6D9Bs
— Inside Politics (@InsidePolitics) July 24, 2022
“I think we need to acknowledge that it is a clear strategy,” CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond responded, adding that “not only have we seen it in Maryland but we’ve seen it play out across gubernatorial races in several other states.”
“They are trying to get the more extreme candidate to face the Democrat in the general election. They believe that it gives them a better chance. But of course, it raises the questions that Gov. Hogan raised about them playing with fire and the dangers of this,” Diamond continued.
“If Democrats are going to say about these January 6th hearings that democracy is under attack, how can you then also go ahead and prop some of these candidates up?” he asked.
CNN’s chief national affairs correspondent Kasie Hunt concurred, stating, “It is a huge risk.”
“So that is my question for Democrats. It’s like okay, you’ve got this political message about our democracy, about what’s important,” Hunt added later.
“Propping up these kinds of candidates like a Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania or a Kari Lake potentially in Arizona, that is contrary to everything else that you are telling the American people about where you stand, what you believe, what’s important and if ends up that the extreme candidates that they propped up get elected and actually do make moves in 2024 that jeopardize our presidential election process, they’re going to have to answer for that,” she warned.
Axios’ Hans Nichols contended that the strategy “undercuts the whole argument.”
“When Democrats tell you that the greatest threat to democracy is Donald Trump-like candidates and the very fate of our republic rests on defeating them and at the same time they are bolstering them for partisan advantage in a tight race. Both arguments can’t be true. You see why they’re doing it and you see there are obvious strategic advantages and tactical advantages,” he said.
“It might not work and that’s the difference,” Hunt noted.
“It’s not just because some of our moms are listening but, in the back of my head I always hear, ‘Be careful what you wish for,'” Nichols said.
“I mean they wished to run against Donald Trump in 2016,” Hunt quipped, “and look where that got them.”
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