Gibbs benefited from both Trump’s endorsement and ads funded by House Democrats, presumably because Democrats thought he was a more winnable candidate than Meijer, who was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for impeachment from Trump The western Michigan district is a priority for Democrats because, as it is now drawn, it is one of the few House districts in the country represented by a Republican that President Joe Biden won in 2020.
“The fact that we have the establishment left and the far right locking arms in a common cause paints a very telling picture of where our politics are in 2022,” Meijer told host Margaret Brennan.
Spending on ads focusing on Gibbs by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee drew complaints from some House Democrats. “No race is worth compromising your values like this,” the MP said. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.).
For his part, Meijer suggested Sunday that while Biden is not particularly popular, the Democrats’ strategy could backfire and get Gibbs and others like him elected.
“While I think there was certainly a cynical calculation at play with the Democrats’ meddling, this is a risky strategy,” he said, adding: “It’s easy to see that this strategy backfires spectacularly, that it’s all the more reason why we shouldn’t accept the zero-sum idea of politics.”
Meijer lost 3 percentage points. He said he was encouraged that despite the efforts of Trump and House Democrats, he still managed to get nearly half of the primary vote.
“We shouldn’t buy into this notion that if we can keep an issue alive, keep it festering, but be able to gain a marginal advantage in the process, that somehow equals a victory,” he said. “I think it’s a dark and cynical way of looking at our politics that, frankly, 48 percent of the primary electorate here rejected. They opposed this cynicism.”