On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," longtime right-wing commentator Jonah Goldberg tore into Republicans in Arizona for continuing to push conspiracy theories about the election being stolen, following a disastrous performance in which Republicans failed to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, lost the governorship, and lost most down-ballot statewide races.
This comes after Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, himself a Republican and a top elections official for Arizona's largest county, was subject to a deluge of abuse and threats at a recent public meeting certifying the election results, with Trump supporters claiming the county was rife with "vote trafficking," and one woman even accusing Gates of capital treason.
"Just jotting down some of the things said here," said anchor Erin Burnett. "Capital offense punishable by the death penalty, traitors, gaslighting. Look, these people care so deeply about this and believe so deeply in what they're saying that they showed up at the certification to say these things to the board of Maricopa County, chaired by a Republican. What's your reaction to these voters who say they're Republicans just like you are?"
"Well, I don't call myself a Republican anymore. I am a conservative," said Goldberg. "Look, I have sympathy for these people. I think they've been lied to, to a certain extent. There's always been a paranoid style in American politics. I think it exists on both the left and the right. This is a classic example of the sort of populous paranoid style in American politics. These people have been misled by people like [MyPillow CEO] Mike Lindell. They follow people like Kari Lake, who encourages this garbage. Things were not helped by the fact that the Maricopa County election office did screw up with these printers on these ballots that just fed this untrue narrative. But that was a small mistake, it was rectified, no one was disenfranchised."
The bright side, according to Goldberg, is that as far as he can tell, "this is only really happening now in Arizona," while most Republicans in other states — even conspiracy theorists like Doug Mastriano who were at the Capitol on January 6 — are accepting the results of elections.
"The 2022 midterms put a really bad odor on a lot of the election denial stuff," said Goldberg. "It's still running strong in Arizona, but it seems to be confined to basically three small areas in a state rather than the entire country. so, to me, it's like nature's healing.
Jonah Goldberg on GOP conspiracy theories in Arizona www.youtube.com