Some Republicans are considering a plan to retaliate against Democrats after they helped boost certain GOP candidates this year that they believed were easier to defeat in the general election.
Analysts have claimed that investment by Democrats in GOP races from New Hampshire to Michigan cost Republicans big time when it came to picking up several seats, according to The Washington Times.
Conservatives have varying views on how the GOP should respond.
Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), a congressman who was handily re-elected, holds the opinion that both parties should follow an honor code to not attempt to sabotage each other’s primary processes. However, he has no objections to Republicans following suit should the left not uphold their end of the bargain.
“If they’re going to engage in ours, we will be forced to engage in theirs. They won every seat that they did that in and, so now you’re talking about the difference in a 10-seat majority vs. a three-seat majority,” he said. “We can’t allow them to do what they did in our primaries and not combat that.”
Others see it differently.
“It may have worked this time around, but it just doesn’t feel right,” said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). “America is based on excellence of trying to be the best and competition to drive that excellence. That’s quite the opposite. It’s not driving excellence. It’s trying to drive a negative or what you perceive as a negative.”
As Gosar has acknowledged, it appears the GOP has a lot of work to do in order to attract more support. The congressional representative recently said that the Republican Party is “going to have to do a lot of outreach” to gain new voters, especially among Gen Z.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) acknowledged yesterday that Gen Z voters don't like GOP policies, stating that they're "motivated" by issues "like gun control, climate control and abortion. … So we're going to have to do a lot of outreach." pic.twitter.com/Sai9QCwujg
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) November 16, 2022
Some Democrats oppose the strategy, including a senior Democrat aide, per The Washington Times.
“We helped anti-democratic candidates into positions of great influence and power, and now know the names and brands of pretty terrible election deniers and those who dabble in conspiracies,” said the aide. “It makes me rethink if I ever will donate to the Democratic Party again.”
Such tactics have been advocated for in the past on the Republican side. Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh famously urged Republicans in Texas and Ohio to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Texas and Ohio Democrat primaries in order to harm the campaign of then-candidate Barack Obama.
“This is too good a soap opera,” he said when speaking with Fox News host Laura Ingraham on the matter in 2008. “We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically, and it’s obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it and don’t have the stomach for it.”