MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week
August 25, 2023
MAGA Republicans this week found new lows with their extremism, hypocrisy, chaos, and — as President Biden would call it — malarkey. From the stage of the first Republican primary debate: 2024 Republicans raced to out-MAGA each other on abortion, railed against supporting our allies and undermined democracy, refused to admit human behavior’s role in climate change, promised to make Trump’s tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy and corporations permanent, and doubled down in their plans to gut Social Security and Medicare. But that’s not all: This week, Ramaswamy continued to lean into 9/11 conspiracy theories, Trump’s empty promises on manufacturing are hurting workers in Wisconsin, Trump unveiled a disastrous economic agenda that would revive his reckless trade war, and MAGA Republicans are shamelessly politicizing the Maui wildfire.
Onstage, the Republican presidential candidates sparred over who could have the most extreme position on abortion, leaving no doubt that a national abortion ban is the definitive litmus test of the GOP primary.
The Guardian: “Without the specter of Roe v Wade looming overhead, the candidates faced a new litmus test on abortion: whether or not they support a nationwide ban on the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”
Pence: “When the Supreme Court returned this question to the American people they didn’t just send it to the states only. It’s not a states-only issue.”
Scott: “We must have a president of the United States who will advocate and fight for at the minimum a 15-week limit.”
DeSantis and Ramaswamy doubled down on their refusal to support our allies – siding with Putin’s bloody war and undermining the principles of our democracy.
DeSantis: “Europe needs to step up. I mean, I would have Europe step up and do their job.”
Baier: “You are saying you would not too, Governor DeSantis?”
DeSantis: “I will have Europe pull their weight. Right now they are not doing that.”
Baier: “Mr. Ramaswamy, you would not support an increase of funding to Ukraine?”
Ramaswamy: “I would not.”
Dylan Wells, Washington Post: “Asked to raise their hands to indicate if they would not support the increase of war funding to Ukraine, Ramaswamy was the first to raise his hand, followed by DeSantis.”
2024 Republicans denied that human behavior is causing the climate crisis, with Ramaswamy even calling efforts to combat climate change “a hoax.”
Associated Press: “The eight Republican presidential candidates on the debate stage were asked to raise their hands if they believed human behavior is causing climate change. Not a single hand went up.”
Ramaswamy: “The climate change agenda is a hoax… The reality is more people are dying of bad climate change policies than they are of actual climate change.”
Washington Post Fact Checker: “No matter how you slice it, credible research has concluded that thousands of people a year die because of the effects of climate change. We can’t find data that suggests green energy policies actually kill even more people — and Ramaswamy’s campaign did not provide any source for his claim. He earns Four Pinocchios.”
Politico: “Vivek Ramaswamy calls climate change agenda a ‘hoax’”
Miami Herald: “DeSantis blows up debate moderators’ effort to query candidates on climate change”
New York Times: “Chaos Erupts When Republican Candidates Are Asked if They Believe in Climate Change”
Associated Press: “Presidential debate shows how GOP candidates are struggling to address concerns about climate change”
The Hill: “Candidates largely dismiss climate issues at first GOP debate”
The Independent: “Republican candidates spark outrage with sweeping climate crisis denial at debate”
Candidates on the debate stage were eager to discuss tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy, with Tim Scott bragging about writing the Trump-Pence tax scam bill that Pence said he wants to make permanent.
Pence: “A lot of people don’t know that the Trump-Pence tax cuts that we got signed into law go away at the end of 2025 if we don’t have a Republican president and a Republican House and a Republican Senate. But when I’m president of the United States, we’re actually going to cut taxes further. We’re going to extend those tax cuts.”
Tim Scott: “I helped write the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017.”
The 2024 GOP field doubled down on their extreme agenda of gutting Social Security – Pence urged the field to support cuts on the debate stage, and Christie called to cut both programs earlier in the week.
Pence: “I was the first person in this race to say that we have got to deal with the long term national debt issues. You have got people on this stage that won’t even talk about issues like Social Security and Medicare.”
The Hill: “Christie: Social Security, Medicare cuts are a necessary ‘political risk’ in today’s economy”
Ramaswamy spent the days leading up to the debate STILL leaning into 9/11 conspiracy theories in an effort to out-MAGA the 2024 GOP field by catering to the most fringe elements of the Republican Party.
Politico: “Ramaswamy faces scrutiny over suggesting government involvement in 9/11”
Ramaswamy: “I think it is legitimate to say how many police, how many federal agents, were on the planes that hit the Twin Towers. Maybe the answer is zero… But if we’re doing a comprehensive assessment of what happened on 9/11, we have a 9/11 commission, absolutely that should be an answer the public knows the answer to.”
CNN: “Audio debunks Vivek Ramaswamy’s false claim that he was misquoted about 9/11”
The empty promises of Trump’s historically disastrous economic record are still hurting hardworking Americans in the manufacturing industry.
Washington Post: “Trump promised this Wisconsin town a manufacturing boom. It never arrived.”
“Many critics say the original promises were never destined to be kept. Trump and the GOP were looking for a quick political win from the deal, while Foxconn was hoping to placate the Trump administration to stop it from hiking import tariffs on the iPhones the firm assembles in China, said Gordon Hintz, a Democrat and former minority leader in the Wisconsin State Assembly.”
Donald Trump proposed a plan that could dramatically escalate his trade war, even though it was a reckless disaster that hurt the American manufacturing industry and left hardworking Americans to suffer the consequences.
Washington Post: “Trump vows massive new tariffs if elected, risking global economic war”
Washington Post: “Trump’s universal tariff plan, however, would represent a dramatic intensification of economic nationalism that could draw more significant reproaches from foreign governments, experts said.”
Washington Post: “Even former Trump economic officials were sharply critical of the idea.”
While President Biden quickly approved a major disaster declaration to help Maui, MAGA Republicans shamelessly tried to politicize the situation even though they have consistently opposed funding to prepare for and fight wildfires.
HuffPost: “GOPers Rip Biden’s Maui Wildfire Response. They All Opposed Funding To Fight Wildfires.”
HuffPost: “House Republicans are glossing over the reality that they have routinely opposed billions of dollars in federal funding to prepare for and respond to wildfires, which are only increasing as climate change worsens.
“Virtually all of them last year voted against the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act, which would have authorized four federal agencies — including FEMA — to each spend up to $10 million for the Wildland Fire Risk Reduction Program. The bill, which ultimately passed the House with one GOP supporter, would have instituted a 10-year wildfire strategy and allocated $1 billion for forest management and vegetation projects.”