Democrats may be creating a self-inflicted disaster by spending tens of millions of dollars help extremist GOP candidates, Barack Obama's former chief strategist warned on CNN on Wednesday.
"There is concern and criticism tonight over Democratic strategy to help fund far-right candidates in Republican primaries," CNN's Anderson Cooper reported. "The plan is that these candidates, if nominated, will be so toxic for moderate voters that it would help Democrats. The fear is they might actually win an election."
"The latest is Dan Cox, who CNN projects will win the Republican nomination for governor in Maryland," Cooper said. "Cox an election denier. After the 2020 election, he said the former president should seize voting machines. He also chartered three buses to the Jan. 6 rally and he tweeted during the attack at the Capitol, 'Pence is a traitor.' According to Open Secrets, a news site that tracks politics and money, Democrats spent more than $1 million on tv ads highlighting the president's endorsement of Cox. A tactic, which is designed to boost his candidacy during the primary with Republicans, but also harm it during the general election. Open Secret also reports Democrats have spent nearly $44 million on ad campaigns in five states: California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois as well as Maryland."
For analysis, Cooper interviewed Democratic strategist David Axelrod.
"David, is this a smart strategy?" Cooper asked.
"Well, we'll see," Axelrod replied.
"It's certainly been smart in the short run if the goal is to nominate candidates you think will be easier to beat," Axelrod continued. "But the reason they're going to these lengths is this could be a very tough year for Democrats. There are gale force winds blowing against Democrats so they wanted the most beatable candidates, but those gale force winds could blow one of these candidates in."
Axelrod noted Democrats helped nominate election denier Doug Mastriano for governor of Pennsylvania, who also traveled to D.C. for Jan. 6 and has been subpoenaed by the House select committee.
"So, you know, it could be shrewd or it could end disastrously and that's the danger, Anderson," Axelrod said.
Later in the interview, Axelrod said. "I understand the thinking behind these tactics, but as I said earlier, they come with great risk."
"You're handling plutonium here as it relates to democracy," Axelrod warned "And if something goes wrong, if those gale force winds are such that a Republican is blown across the line, you'll have people — like in Pennsylvania, the governor there appoints the secretary of state who administers the elections. So this has the potential to be a disaster if it goes wrong."
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