U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was quick to strike out at Pete Buttigieg after the U.S. Secretary of Transportation was asked on Sunday to respond to the Florida Republican’s remarks calling protecting same-sex marriage under federal law a “stupid waste of time.”
Rubio’s remarks haven’t been well-received, with many pointing out the fallacies in his comments.
The far right Florida GOP Senator, running to keep his seat against a popular Democrat, U.S. Rep. Val Demmings, was one of 50 Republicans Huffpost and CNN asked if they would vote for a bill to protect existing same-sex marriages. He was the only one who leveled what could be called a nasty attack on the very institution countless LGBTQ Americans spent years fighting to enter.
“Marco Rubio told me that he is a NO on House’s same-sex marriage bill, calling it a ‘stupid waste of time,'” CNN’s Manu Raju reported last Wednesday. He also noted that “when he said that, there was another senator on the elevator who heard him: Tammy Baldwin, who is gay.”
Some Republican Senators said they would vote to protect same-sex marriage, some said they didn’t think it was necessary but would vote yes if the bill came to the floor, some said no, some were noncommittal, and many didn’t bother to respond.
But Rubio was the only one to take a swing at the marriages of well over a half-million same-sex couples across America.
On Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper brought up the Florida Republican’s remarks, and asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for a response.
“If he’s got time to fight against Disney,” Sec. Buttigieg said, referring to the GOP’s attack on the entertainment giant after it voiced concern about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill, “I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine. But this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me.”
“Our marriage deserves to be treated equally. And I don’t know why this would be hard for a senator or a congressman,” Buttigieg noted.
“If they don’t want to spend a lot of time on this they can vote ‘yes’ and move on,” the Transportation Secretary added. “And that would be really reassuring for a lot of families around America, including mine.”
Rubio, who voted against confirming Buttigieg’s nomination, was quick to respond with a video that attacked and attempted to mock the Cabinet Secretary.
Implying that marriage is a state issue (a claim many disagree with) the Florida Senator began by denigrating Buttigieg for his Harvard education, then claiming he “never learned the difference between the state level and the federal level.”
Working Americans,of every background,struggle with real problems like gas prices & flight cancellations
But we have a Transportation Secretary who wants us to focus on a fake problem & who went to Harvard but apparently doesn’t know the difference between state & federal issues pic.twitter.com/hI5rMKvwvX
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 24, 2022
Rubio’s remarks include anti-LGBTQ attacks and even an attack on batteries from China, while implying that protecting marriage is not a problem that matters to “real people.” And he repeated the GOP talking point, which Buttigieg in Congress just last week debunked, that all electric cars cost $65,000.
“I’m not going to focus on the agenda that dictated [sic] by a bunch of affluent, elite liberals and a bunch of Marxist misfits,” Rubio concluded, “who sadly, today control the agenda of the modern Democratic Party.”
On social media many pushed back against Rubio’s claims.
CNN’s John Harwood highlighted Rubio saying protecting marriage is a “a fake problem,” as did MSNBC columnist Michael Cohen (not the former Trump attorney) who tweeted: “Equal rights for LGBTQ Americans is a ‘fake problem.'”
“Children of working Americans deserve a federal guarantee that their parents’ marriages aren’t up for debate, tweeted Alex Johnson.
Journalist and political commentator David A. Andelman: “And this is how @marcorubio and the @GOP make sure they get not a single #LGBTQ vote in 2022 or 2024 or never?!”
Author Jeff McKown wrote: “As a working Floridian in the LGBTQ+ community, I am also struggling. I need to understand why @marcorubio recently said voting to support my right to be married is a ‘stupid waste of time.’ He knows damn well the Boggs decision puts Obergfell in jeopardy,and he doesn’t care.”
Some pointed out Rubio’s votes against Democratic legislation that would help the working Americans he claimed he wanted to help.
“Working Americans do struggle. Weird you vote to cut their healthcare, child tax credits, funding for small bizs & anything else that’d help them. Also, they can’t act like spoiled idiots w/ their $ and then put it all on the FL GOP credit card like you,” tweeted Cliff Schecter, the president of a public relations firm, and an author and syndicated columnist.
“(1) Republicans don’t have policy that would help w/ gas prices & flight cancellations: they want US to focus on them, but not so hard to realize they have no solutions (2) Republicans want US to categorize all the cruel things they do to minority populations, as ‘culture war,'” wrote economist David Rothschild as he began a series of tweets.
“You’ve done literally nothing whatsoever to combat gas prices, even going so far as to vote *against* an anti price-gouging bill,” one Twitter user noted.
Others just openly mocked Rubio, like this tweet from an account named Noble Prize in Sarcasm: “Marco got dunked on so bad by Buttigieg he had to make an emergency video.”
And this Twitter user who wrote: “Pro Tip: When whining about how you can relate to the plight of the average working American, maybe don’t do it in a crisp white polo sitting on the deck of your spacious Florida mansion surrounded by sunshine and palm trees.”
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Charlie Kirk, Purveyor of ‘Rigged’ Election Lie, Complains GOP Lost ‘Because a Lot of People Do Not Trust the System’
Far right wing activist Charlie Kirk complained on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” show Tuesday that many Republicans in Arizona lost their elections earlier this month because they “do not trust” the election system. Kirk is a purveyor of Donald Trump’s “Big Lie,” and has repeatedly promoted the false claim that U.S. elections are “rigged.”
“400,000 people that showed up for Donald Trump or voted for Donald Trump in 2020 did not show up or vote for the midterm election,” Kirk told his audience. (NCRM has not verified these numbers and could find nothing to support the claim.)
“Now, I believe it’s because a lot of people do not trust the system,” Kirk claimed.
Why does Charlie Kirk believe “a lot of people do not trust the system”?
Because he told them not to. Over and over and over again.
In January on his show Kirk hosted Mollie Hemingway, the editor in chief of The Federalist, a right wing website founded by Ben Domenech and Sean Davis. The Federalist has been a purveyor of false election claims, according to Reuters, which reports the claims “are presented inaccurately.” Twitter had to append a “cautionary label” to a Federalist tweet after The Federalist wrongly stated, “Yes, Democrats Are Trying To Steal The Election In Michigan, Wisconsin, And Pennsylvania,” according to The Daily Beast.
Hemingway is also the author of the book, “Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.”
The title of that episode of The Charlie Kirk Show? “Why Conservatives Can’t Turn Our Backs on Rigged Elections with Mollie Hemingway.”
(The Federalist was also cited by The New England Journal of Medicine for belong create a “superspreader” event of false information about the effectiveness of masks in the fight against COVID-19.)
In April Kirk hosted right wing activist David Bossie, president of the political lobbying group Citizens United, and a former Trump 2016 campaign official.
The title of that episode?
Kirk likes the word “rigged.” On Twitter he’s used it a lot to suggest that the U.S. elections are “rigged.”
“The same people who spent the last 4 years falsely saying Russians rigged our elections are now saying there’s no way an election could be rigged by illegal ballots and voter fraud. How does that work?” (Nov 6, 2020)
“BREAKING: A mail carrier was just charged with attempted election fraud after changing party affiliations on mail-in ballots Still think there aren’t any issues with rigged elections due to mail-in voting? RT so the media has to report on the DANGERS of mail-in voter FRAUD!” (Apr 16, 2020)
“Democrats should be livid. This is a rigged game to protect the ruling class Thank goodness the GOP is a true grassroots party where ANY voice or person can win Democrats corruption will not allow fair or free elections” (Feb 4, 2020)
Or this tweet from 2019.
Must suck to be a Democrat:
You lose the election you rigged to win in 2016
And in 2019, the rigged hoax you created to make up for losing in 2016 gets blown up by the man who led the investigation
Not sick of winning!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) July 25, 2019
On November 9, this was the opening of a New York Times article.
“On the morning of Election Day, Charlie Kirk, the conservative talk show host from Arizona, shared a video on Twitter about broken voting machines in Maricopa County, followed by a series of posts suggesting that the problems were intentional,” The Times’ Sheera Frenkel and Steven Lee Myers wrote. “’This is manufactured chaos,’ he wrote, calling for those responsible to be arrested.”
“The video was shared nearly 20,000 times and liked by more than 30,000 users, including many prominent accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers. The post and others like it on a dozen online platforms kindled a false narrative of widespread voting shenanigans among those predisposed to believe that the country’s elections are rigged.”
In addition to hosting his talk show, Kirk is also the founder of right wing student activist group Turning Point USA, and he is a member of the highly-secretive far Christian right organization, Council for National Policy (CNP).
Fast forward to Tuesday.
Here’s Kirk complaining to Steve Bannon that Republicans didn’t vote in the November, 2022 election several weeks ago, “because a lot of people do not trust the system.”
Charlie Kirk says there was a poor Republican turnout in AZ because their voters think elections are rigged: “400,000 people that voted for Trump in 2020 did not show up or vote for the midterm election. I believe it’s because a lot of people do not trust the system.” pic.twitter.com/UJvHiCQfQm
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) November 29, 2022
Watch Kirk’s video above or at this link.
RNC Taps Right Wing Extremists to Head Group Designed to Expand GOP Appeal in Wake of Midterm Losses
Embattled Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel is launching two advisory groups in an effort to expand the party’s appeal to voters and examine what went wrong in the wake of stunning, historic midterm election losses – and she’s turning to some of the right’s most extreme leaders to perform the investigations.
Political analysts on both sides of the aisle generally agree that Donald Trump, Trumpism, the party’s lurch to far right wing extremism including white nationalism, white supremacy, Christian nationalism, antisemitism, authoritarianism, fascism, and the “Big Lie” of stolen elections hurt, not helped candidates in the 2022 midterms.
McDaniel has now tapped some of the very purveyors of that failed extremism to lead the shrinking party’s efforts to broaden its outreach and correct its errors.
“The RNC is tapping nearly a dozen people to serve in what it’s calling a ‘Republican Party Advisory Council’ – a group that includes former Donald Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, evangelical leader Tony Perkins and a pair of Senate candidates who ran this year,” Politico reports.
Tony Perkins is a far right wing religious extremist and anti-LGBTQ activist who decades ago reportedly had ties to white supremacist groups, which he has denied. For decades he has been president of the Family Research Council, which appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.
Deeply embedded in Republican theocratic politics, Perkins was appointed twice by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal government body that has a history of advancing the agenda of America’s Evangelical Christian movement.
He is also a past president of the highly-secretive far Christian right organization, Council for National Policy (CNP).
CNP’s members are believed to include far right activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas, whose attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results have been the subject of numerous reports. Also, Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, which has faced allegations of racism, and far right conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Other members of the Council for National Policy include two other heads of organizations that appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups: Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel; and Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association.
“The panel will also include former Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters, who in the wake of his loss has called on the party to move on from ‘consultant one-size-fits-all strategies,'” Politico reports.
Masters is a “Big Lie” purveyor who has also promoted the white nationalist conspiracy theory of the “Great Replacement,” which falsely claims immigrants – people of color – are “replacing” white Americans.
Separately, Politico adds, the RNC is commissioning an investigation into what went wrong, commonly referred to as an “autopsy” to ensure in future elections the same decisions are not made. That work will be lead by current RNC members.
‘Lowest Common Denominator’: Trump Refuses to Denounce White Supremacist He Dined With Despite Advisers’ Urgings
It’s been nearly a week since Donald Trump had dinner at his home at Mar-a-Lago with antisemite and white supremacist Nick Fuentes, and yet he continues to refuse to denounce him or his extremist views.
Multiple advisers have urged Trump to denounce Fuentes, who has a long history of promoting white supremacism, but he has been “rejecting” their advice “over fears he might alienate a section of his base, two people familiar with the situation said.”
Fuentes, according to Trump, came to dinner at the behest of Kanye West, the former president’s invited dinner guest. He says the disgraced artist did not tell him in advance he was bringing “friends.” In addition to Fuentes, those friends reportedly include Milo Yiannopoulos, who has advocated for older men having sex with young teen boys, and Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.
West has also been increasingly viewed as antisemitic, especially after threatening to “go death con 3 on Jewish people.” That remark “conveyed a clear violence to many who saw it,” The Times of Israel reported last month.
Trump has a long history of refusing to denounce white supremacists and white nationalists. His refusal to denounce former KKK leader David Duke, when still a presidential candidate in 2016, has become an infamously defining moment for Trump.
“I don’t know anything about David Duke,” Trump told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with ‘white supremacy’ or ‘white supremacists,’” Trump insisted. “I know nothing about white supremacists.”
“I have to look at the group,” Trump continued, when asked he would condemn white supremacists and say he does not want their vote. “You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about?”
That’s extremely similar to Trump’s initial response when news broke he had dined with Fuentes.
Trump on his Truth Social platform described the white supremacist as someone “whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”
On MSNBC Monday morning, Politico’s Jonathan Lemire noted, “this strain of white nationalism is becoming more central to what today’s Republican Party is about.” He added that Trump is “trying to play to the lowest common denominator to try and keep some supporters in check.”
Fuentes is not just a white supremacist, a white Christian nationalist, a Holocaust “denier,” and a supporter of authoritarianism – along with holding other extremist views. He is a political commentator who has a large following and is seen as the head of a white supremacist movement. Fuentes is also the founder of the annual America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), a white nationalism alternative to the already extremist Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) last year warned Fuentes is “a white supremacist leader and organizer and podcaster who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP.”
But ADL also notes Fuentes “promoted election fraud narratives and encouraged his adherents to participate in nationwide “Stop the Steal” protests,” and “served as an organizer and speaker at many ‘Stop the Steal’ protests,” which may be yet another reason Trump has refused to denounce him.
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