MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week

MAGA Republicans stooped to new lows this week with their extremism, hypocrisy, chaos, and — as President Biden would call it — malarkey. In case you missed it: At a Fox News town hall, Donald Trump doubled down on being a “day one” dictator, bragged about ripping away abortion rights, and once again admitted that he wanted the economy to crash.

Meanwhile during the CNN debate, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis fought in a Republican clown showdown, debating over who is the true MAGA extremist. During the debate, Haley tried to prove her MAGA credentials on ripping away reproductive freedom and was called out for her plans to put an end to Social Security and Medicare as we know them. Vivek Ramaswamy, in lieu of qualifying for the debate, spewed bizarre conspiracy theories in a new ad. 

Over on Capitol Hill, MAGA Mike Johnson took to the airwaves to defend Trump and begged his colleagues to stop cyberbullying him during another chaotic conference meeting. 

Donald Trump admitted that he wanted the economy to crash so it would benefit him politically — with no regard for how it would hurt hardworking families. 

Trump: “And when there’s a crash — I hope it’s going to be during this next 12 months because I don’t want to be Herbert Hoover. The one president I just don’t want to be, Herbert Hoover.”

Daily Beast: “Donald Trump admitted Monday that he wants a severe economic downturn to happen during the next year, because it will help his odds of winning the presidential election.”

CNN: “‘He’s the only president other than Herbert Hoover who actually lost jobs in a four-year period,’ Biden said at a campaign fundraiser in December. ‘And that’s why I often think of him as Donald ‘Herbert Hoover’ Trump.’”

During a Fox News town hall, Trump said he was “proud” that he got rid of Roe v. Wade, paving the way for reproductive freedom to be taken away from women across the country. 

Trump: “For 54 years they were trying to get Roe v. Wade terminated, and I did it, and I’m proud to have done it. … Nobody else was going to get that done but me, and we did it, and we did something that was a miracle.”

Rolling Stone: “Trump Says He’s ‘Proud’ to Have ‘Terminated’ Abortion Rights”

The Guardian: “Donald Trump claims credit for ‘miracle’ of overturning right to abortion”

USA Today: “Trump is ‘proud’ about taking away abortion rights. Republicans will keep losing because of it.”

Business Insider: “Trump boasts he’s ‘proud’ about his role in overturning Roe v. Wade, the issue that has become ballot-box poison for Republicans”

HuffPost: “Donald Trump Says He’s ‘Proud’ To Have Overturned Roe v. Wade”

After weeks of warning of revenge and retribution in his second term, Trump doubled down on his threat to be a dictator “for one day” if he  retakes power.

Trump: “I’m going to be a dictator for one day.” 

USA Today: “Donald Trump repeats comment he would be a dictator ‘for one day’ if reelected in 2024”

New York Times: “Many democracy experts are deeply alarmed. ‘If he says what he means and means what he says, and someday is able to implement it, it’s an existential crisis that the U.S. would face,’ said Barbara Perry, a presidential historian at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.”

Chaos and petty fighting took up most of the CNN debate between Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis as they tried to out-MAGA each other on ripping away reproductive freedom, making cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and defending Trump. 

Politico: “Haley and DeSantis go for each other’s jugular”

Associated Press: “Haley and DeSantis tear into each other’s records in a hostile head-to-head Republican debate”

CBS News: “DeSantis and Haley call each other liars in last GOP debate before Iowa caucuses”

Associated Press: “Standing at lecterns an arm’s length apart, DeSantis and Haley fired off detailed critiques and sarcastic quips from the beginning.”

New York Times: “At least a dozen times, she repeated the name of a website called DeSantisLies, using it as a catchall shield to absorb his many attacks as she slashed at the chaotic management of his campaign as symbolic of his readiness to lead. ‘I think I hit a nerve,’ she said at one point.”

Politico: “‘Pretty much a dumpster fire,’ quipped Doug Gross, a Republican operative who was chief of staff to former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. ‘The Republicans are really savaging each other. I don’t think it’s helping either one of them.’”

During her Fox News town hall, Haley tried to prove her MAGA credentials by disputing that she is “too moderate” on abortion.

Martha MacCallum: “You said you wouldn’t support, I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, a six-week federal ban if it were to go into place. Ron DeSantis has said that, you know, you are too moderate on this issue.”

Haley: “That’s not what I said.” 

Also during her Fox News town hall, Haley was called out for trying to cut America’s seniors off from critical support by ending Social Security and Medicare as we know them. 

Haley: “You don’t just do what’s politically popular by saying, ‘I’m not going to touch any of those things’ — that’s irresponsible. We do have to do it.” 

The Independent: “Nikki Haley denies calling to raise retirement age seconds before admitting she did”

Business Insider: “Nikki Haley denied suggesting the age of retirement is ‘way too low’ even though she said it in a recorded interview”

After failing to qualify for Wednesday’s Republican debate, Vivek Ramaswamy tried promoting himself through a conspiracy theory-laden ad.

Daily Beast: “Vivek Ramaswamy Drops Unhinged Ad to Air During Iowa Debate”

“As if preemptively dropping out of a debate for which he didn’t qualify wasn’t enough, Ramaswamy dedicated the front end of the ad to airing a litany of conspiracy theories in an attempt to present himself as the victim of censorship, not poor polling numbers.

“‘The mainstream media is trying to rig the Iowa GOP caucus in favor of the corporate candidates who they can control,’ Ramaswamy says over an ominous soundtrack.”

USA Today: “Playing to far-right conspiracies and talking points, he says, ‘They don’t want you to hear from me about the truth of what really happened on January 6, the truth about the COVID origin, the Hunter Biden laptop story, and everything else they have lied to you about.’

“‘So you could fix that,’ Ramaswamy added. ‘Take your remote and turn this s— off.’”

Determined to use his speakership to defend Trump, MAGA Mike Johnson took to the airwaves Sunday to defend Trump’s shameful rhetoric and refused to admit that President Biden won the 2020 election.

Politico: “House Speaker Mike Johnson called suggestions that he is an election denier ‘nonsense,’ but refused to affirm that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election during an interview that aired Sunday.”

The Hill: “Brennan then sought to clarify if Trump’s statement ‘goes beyond’ what the Speaker is personally comfortable with, to which he said, ‘It’s not language I would use. But…understand-’

“‘Cause it sounds hateful,” Brennan interjected.

“‘Well, it’s not hateful,’ Johnson shot back.”

Even on a simple procedural rule vote, Mike Johnson can’t control the other MAGA minions in his chaos conference — instead, he’s begging them to not be mean to him on social media in conference meetings.

CNN: “House right flank revolts by sinking rule vote as Speaker Mike Johnson walks tightrope on government funding plan”

NBC News: “House Republican hard-liners revolted against the bipartisan spending deal on Wednesday by tanking a procedural vote on an unrelated bill, an attempt to signal their displeasure with the pact reached between Speaker Mike Johnson and the Senate.

“The vote was 203-216, with 13 Republicans defecting and joining Democrats to sink the ‘rule’ vote. Among the defectors were Chip Roy of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia and Andy Biggs of Arizona, who all voted ‘no’ to make their anger known to Johnson, said a person familiar with the effort.”

“The disagreement highlights the headache House GOP leaders face from their right flank as Congress nears a Jan. 19 deadline to avert a partial government shutdown, with lawmakers growing nervous that time is short.”