Trump’s agenda lost big on Tuesday, so Republicans are trying to blame ‘swamp thing’ Gillespie
Attribution: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The white supremacist wing of the Republican Party is racing to disavow Virginia gubernatorial loser Ed Gillespie. He would have won if he’d just been more openly racist, they say. But they were singing a different tune—literally an opposite tune—just a few days ago when Gillespie looked to be gaining ground.
Corey Stewart, the aspiring Trump mini-me who Gillespie narrowly defeated in the Republican primary, said following Gillespie’s loss that “Ed Gillespie refused to stand with the grassroots of the party and refused to fight ultra left wing Democrats. Tonight was a humiliating rejection of the failed Bush wing of the Republican Party.” This is a super-Trumpy moment from Stewart, in that he’s expecting us to forget what he was saying immediately before the election:
“It feels like my campaign, doesn’t it?” Stewart said of Gillespie’s commercials as Tuesday’s election loomed, his fulsome grin punctuating his delight. “I feel vindicated by it. What is it that they say? Imitation is the best form of flattery.”
Those commercials, by the way, framed Gillespie as a defender of Confederate monuments and used the MS-13 gang to fear-monger about immigrants.
Similarly, right before the election, Steve Bannon was saying that “It was the Trump-Stewart talking points that got Gillespie close and even maybe to victory. It was embracing Trump’s agenda as personified by Corey’s platform.” But as the results became clear, Breitbart dismissed Gillespie as a “swamp thing.” And Donald Trump, who’d been tweeting his little heart out for Gillespie on the morning of Election Day, was suddenly trying to distance himself.
It’s true that Gillespie is a longstanding member of the Bush Republican establishment … but he ran on the Trump-Bannon-Stewart agenda. And he lost on that agenda. To say nothing of all the Republican state House members in Virginia who lost on Tuesday. No, sorry, guys. (Not sorry at all, actually.) November 7, 2017, was the first official Election Day since Donald Trump lost the popular vote and took office, and it was a rejection of Donald Trump.