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The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., admitted Sunday that his decision to intervene in the Michigan Republican primary, in which the DCCC invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to boost a pro-Donald. Trump’s nominee could raise some “difficult moral questions.”
Maloney was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats after the DCCC spent $425,000 on an ad promoting Trump-backed John Gibbs, who ended up winning the primary against incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach the ‘former president after the Capitol riot in January. 6 of 2021.
NBC News’ Chuck Todd asked Maloney on “Meet the Press” if the decision to push Gibbs because he is seen as easier for Democrats to defeat in the midterm elections put “party over country” . Maloney said no, because he’s confident Gibbs will lose to Democrat Hillary Scholten.
“We absolutely did not put party over country,” Maloney responded. “The moral imperative right now, Mr. Todd, is to keep the dangerous MAGA Republicans who voted to nullify our election out of power.”
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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney speaks during a press conference on the Inflation Reduction Act on August 17, 2022 in Cold Spring, New York.
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
“Let’s win this seat,” he added. “The big loser in the Michigan primary was Kevin McCarthy and that MAGA crowd, and they know it.”
Todd challenged Maloney, asking, “If this man, Mr. Gibbs, wins, then didn’t you help an election denialist get into Congress?”
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(Fox News/Tyler Olson)
“Again, this danger did not start with Mr. Gibbs,” Maloney replied. “By all accounts, he’s the weakest candidate. Don’t take my word for it. The Cook Political Report says Democrats are much more likely to win this seat now. That’s doing our job.”
DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney
(Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via Reuters)
Todd pushed back, saying Americans hate both political parties because of “cynical moves like this.” Maloney argued that while there are moral questions surrounding his tactics, the ends justify the means.
“Chuck, my job is to win elections for the Democrats,” Maloney said. “I understand there are difficult moral questions, philosophical questions about tactics. That’s always true in politics. You better believe it. But here’s the deal. We’re more likely to win this seat. John Gibbs is a weak opponent . He’s an extremist. with a vicious anti-choice record. He can’t string together a set of policies that make sense for West Michigan. We win this seat. And we believe that by keeping these dangerous people out of power, we address. the biggest moral imperative, and that’s our job.”
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Maloney’s Democratic opponent, New York Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, in New York’s 17th congressional district, criticized him last month for “wasting” donor money, calling the strategy “dangerous.”
“DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney is wasting valuable Democratic resources by investing in far-right Republicans instead of funding Democratic candidates. This is a dangerous investment and an asymmetric risk. Just a few years ago, many Democrats also mistakenly believed that Donald Trump winning the Republican primary would guarantee a Democratic presidential victory, and they were very wrong,” Biaggi said.
Jessica Chasmar is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Jessica.Chasmar@fox.com and on Twitter: @JessicaChasmar.