A Michigan Republican is trotting his mother out to distract from the Donald Trump endorsement that helped him win a GOP primary and decades of online posting that threatens his chances in November's election.
John Gibbs knocked off incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer, who declared Joe Biden had legitimately won the 2020 election and voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection, with the former president's backing and a half-million dollar ad investment from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but internal polling from both parties show him trailing rival Hillary Scholten, reported Politico.
“He’s just an extreme of what’s happened to the Republican party. He’s an extreme example of it,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI). “Some of his past positions that he’s now trying to get himself away from don’t fit in the 21st century, let alone the 20th century in America.”
In addition to his recent election denialism and opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, Gibbs has floated QAnon conspiracy theories, questioned women's right to vote and wondered whether the lost city of Atlantis might be located beneath the North Pole.
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“I like trolling a little bit, but I guess maybe I’m the first person in history who said something over the top in college,” Gibbs said. “They’re trying to take something someone said X number of years ago and make it seem like they’re a bad person.”
Gibbs also suggested in a 2007 blog post that the U.S. lacked the moral authority to criticize Saudi Arabia's treatment of women because, he said, American women have “widespread STDs” and millions “are on anti-depressants, are seeing therapists, and have low self-esteem,” and that same year he argued that British women were more attractive because they "seem less manly/aggressive than ours."
“People should look at me right now, look at reality, look at my staff, my campaign," Gibbs said. "Look at my mom and my videos."
Gibbs has enlisted his mother for campaign ads, where she brags about his honesty and humility, and appearances on the campaign trail, which the GOP candidate believes highlights his best qualities.
“We just wanted to show that side of me and show a fun quirky side,” he said. “People love that. Everywhere I go with my mom. I mean, everywhere when she’s here, people come up and say, ‘Oh I love your ad.’”
Scholten, however, said Gibbs had made his positions clear over the years, and his continuing belief that Biden's election was “mathematically impossible” shows that his views are outside the mainstream.
“What has he done to show that he does not believe that?” Scholten said. “Why should we take this man’s word for it when he’s been so willing to lie about the results of the 2020 election? He’s got a lot of work to do rehabilitating himself with women."