Far-Right Republican Who Called For ‘More Gallows’ Wonders If GOP Had A Messaging Problem

by | Nov 15, 2022 | Politics

As updated vote tallies began to cement a loss for Trump-backed Arizona governor candidate Kari Lake on Monday, a far-right state lawmaker who told a gathering of white nationalists that “we need to build more gallows” started to have second thoughts about her party’s pitch to voters. “We wonder now if we were in an echo chamber,” said state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R), who has also suggested throwing county officials in solitary confinement and spent years lying about the 2020 election. Advertisement“I don’t know, I’m just beginning to get some perspective,” added Rogers.In the final days of her unsuccessful campaign against Democrat Katie Hobbs, Lake bear-hugged Rogers, despite the fellow Republican being one of the nation’s foremost elected supporters of the white nationalist influencer Nick Fuentes. Rogers’ realization about echo chambers occurred in an interesting place: She was speaking to Charlie Kirk on his YouTube show, which is also broadcast on the Salem Radio Network.Kirk is the founder of the right-wing youth group Turning Point USA, which has close ties to the Trump family and spent considerable time and money working to elect Arizona Republicans. The group’s nationwide endorsement page is now sprinkled with painful losses, including Lake and U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters (R). Advertisement “Every pollster was wrong, every single one,” Kirk told Rogers. Later, he apologized to listeners for getting the projections wrong ― referring to positive polling for Lake as “Kool-Aid” ― and mentioned that he’d heard “they didn’t run an internal poll the whole campaign.” “Never again are we going to trust polls, or tracking, or any of that stuff,” Kirk said.As the results rolled in, the crew speculated that Lake, who in many ways emulated former President Donald Trump’s election denialism and theatrical antagonism of the press, was simply too much for some otherwise winnable Arizona voters. “If every person who voted to retire [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi in Arizona voted for Kari Lake, she’s governor,” Kirk said, referring to Arizona’s U.S. House delegation, which went from 5-4 Democratic to 6-3 Republican with this election. “What that means … is a Republican undervote, and it looks like that happened,” he added, referring to voters who supported Republicans other than Lake. Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R) has spent years making false claims about the 2020 election. Ross D. Franklin/Associated PressAdvertisementTyler Bowyer, TPUSA’s chief operating officer and a false presidential “elector” for Trump’s 2020 campaign, said “the same Trump attack messaging seemed to work” against Lake.“I love Trump, I love him to death, but the Trump rally is an echo chamber,” Bowyer said separately, responding to Rogers’ comment. He recalled warning Lake’s political team against having “all the same people showing up to the same events” and not bringing in new supporters but rather “fangirls and fanboys.”Rogers agreed that Trump’s more recent rallies felt like a “family reunion.” “I do think voters are telling us that they’re fatigued,” Kirk said. “I think people are telling us, they’re trying to send it in more ways than one: ‘I’m going to vote for the more boring person.’” A few minutes later, Kirk read the latest returns from Maricopa County ― home to more than half of Arizona’s residents ― which sealed the deal on Hobbs’ projected victory. Then he read an email from a listener as he and his guests’ heads sank. “We all have Trump fatigue syndrome,” he read. “I reluctantly voted for Kari Lake but all my friends couldn’t do it. We don’t want all the bombast.”AdvertisementWhen Kirk announced that Lake was trailing Hobbs by 20 points in Pima County, the second largest county in the state, Rogers did a double take. “You said 20 points?” she confirmed, seemingly stunned as she looked at her phone. …

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