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ICYMI: GOP Candidates Strip Abortion and Trump Connections From Their Campaign Websites [Daily Beast]

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Daily Beast: GOP Candidates Strip Abortion and Trump Connections From Their Campaign Websites
Republican candidates used to tout their pro-Trump, anti-abortion rights positions on their websites. Now they’ve gone missing.
By Sam Brodey
September 28, 2022

Key Points:

  • Stuck between their past posturing and their current campaigning, a growing cohort of Republican candidates have turned to a simple solution for reconciling it all: just delete it.
  • Among GOP hopefuls for Senate, at least three have scrubbed their online pages of Trump or 2020: Blake Masters of Arizona, Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania, and Tiffany Smiley of Washington. And at least two did the same for abortion: Masters and Adam Laxalt of Nevada.
  • Ken Spain, a Republican strategist, warned that erasing previous positions or aspects of a candidate’s biography is “kind of silly at this stage” and is akin to “writing ads for the opposition.”
  • “Unfortunately for all candidates, the Internet lives forever,” Spain said. “At this point, it’s too late to run away from who you are.”
  • Operatives like Spain say these campaign website scrubs contribute to bad news cycles for candidates and “end up becoming part of the story,” he said.
  • In August, CNN reported that Masters, the GOP nominee to take on Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), had removed language from his website declaring that the 2020 election was stolen.
  • Tiffany Smiley, who Republicans hope will mount a serious challenge to Sen. Patty Murray in typically blue Washington state, had “election integrity” prominently displayed on her agenda page during the primary before removing that language afterward, HuffPost reported.
  • Smiley’s website does now allude to the issue, but the content is only reachable by clicking a “learn more” link at the bottom of her revamped agenda page… It’s a far more modest message than Smiley’s initial platform statement that “the 2020 elections raised serious questions about the integrity of our elections and caused millions of Americans to question their confidence in our electoral process.”


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