Suburban Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney insisted Sunday that his Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was “doing our job” by backing far-right Republican candidates in a string of recent primaries — on the theory that they’d be easier to beat in November.

Ma​loney was confronted by “Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd Sunday over whether he oversaw a “cynical ploy” to support the pro-Trump candidate ​that defeated ​GOP ​Rep. Peter Meijer in Michigan.

“You put party over country, did you not? And is that something you’re comfortable with?” Todd asked him.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney defended the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for backing far-right candidates in primaries as "doing our job."
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney defended the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for backing far-right candidates in primaries as “doing our job.”
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
The DCCC supported John Gibbs against incumbent  ​Rep. Peter Meijer in their Republican primary race in Michigan.
The DCCC supported John Gibbs against incumbent ​Rep. Peter Meijer in their Republican primary race in Michigan.
Joel Bissell/The Grand Rapids Press via AP

“Absolutely not did we put party over country,” Maloney replied. “The moral imperative right now, Mr. Todd, is to keep the dangerous MAGA Republicans who voted to overturn our election out of power. There were 139 of them who voted against the results of the election back in January 2021​.”

Meijer, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, was beaten by ​challenger John Gibbs in Michigan’s 3rd District primary on Aug. 2. 

Maloney said Democrats believed that by highlighting the far-right views of Gibbs “we ​teed up the choice in the fall.”

Maloney claimed his committee's moral imperative is to get Republicans who objected to the 2020 election results like Meijer out of Congress.
Maloney claimed his committee’s moral imperative is to get Republicans who objected to the 2020 election results like Meijer out of Congress.
AP Photo/Joey Cappelletti

​”​We’ve got a strong pro-choice Democrat there named Hillary Scholten. … We’re going to win that seat. The big loser in the Michigan primary was [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy and this MAGA crowd. And they know it,” Maloney said. ​

But Todd continued to press why the Democrats would work to defeat a moderate Republican in Meijer, asking that if Gibbs wins in November, “have you not helped an election denier get into Congress?”

“Again, this danger didn’t start with Mr. Gibbs. By every measure, he’s the weaker candidate. Don’t take my word for it. The Cook Political Report says it’s far more likely the Democrats are going to win that seat now. That’s doing our job​,” Maloney said. ​

Maloney said Gibbs was the weaker candidate.
Maloney said Gibbs was the weaker candidate.
Joel Bissell/The Grand Rapids Press via AP

Maloney, who faces a primary challenge himself from progressive ​state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi on Tuesday, said Meijer also posed a threat to Democrats in Congress if Republicans won control of the House.

​”Peter Meijer was an anti-choice extremist who also was going to vote to have Jim Jordan run the [House] Judiciary Committee, give you two years of nonsense investigating Hunter Biden​,” he said.​

But Todd suggested that the effort to unseat Meijer had left the impression among voters that both political parties are cynical, breeding distrust in the process.

Maloney briefly acknowledged the existence of moral and philosophical questions about the political tactics before insisting the DCCC had done the right thing.

“But here’s the deal. We are more likely to win that seat. John Gibbs is a weak opponent. He’s an extremist with a vicious anti-choice record,” he said. “He can’t string a set of policies together that will make sense for Western Michigan. We’re going to win that seat. And we believe that by keeping those dangerous people out of power we address the larger moral imperative. And that’s our job​.” ​

Meijer, writing on the Common Sense Substack website the day before Michigan’s primary, blasted Democrats for their hypocrisy for bankrolling Gibbs, who supports Trump’s claims that he only lost the 2020 election because of rampant fraud. 

“[Y]ou would think that the Democrats would look at John Gibbs and see the embodiment of what they say they most fear. That as patriots they would use every tool at their disposal to defeat him and similar candidates that they’ve said are an existential threat​,” the Republican wrote. “Instead they are funding Gibbs.”



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