CNN panelists on Democrats backing ‘extreme’ GOP candidates: ‘Be careful what you wish for’

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CNN’s chief national affairs correspondent Kasie Hunt and Hans Nichols, a political reporter for Axios, argued that Democrats will have to answer for their meddling in GOP primaries if the “extreme” candidates they’re backing actually get elected. 

Host Manu Raju noted earlier in the segment that the “central message” of the Jan. 6 hearings was that democracy is “under assault.” He also said that Democrats were “meddling” in GOP primaries by trying to “prop up” certain candidates they believe to be “extreme” and easy to beat in general elections. 

Raju brought up Gov. Larry Hogan’s, R-M.D., comments on the Democratic strategy as well, who said that the party was “playing with fire.”

CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond said that it was a “clear strategy” that has played out across several states. He added that it raises questions about the message coming from Democrats about democracy. 

CNN panelists on Democrats backing 'extreme' GOP candidates: 'Be careful what you wish for'

WATERLOO, IA – SEPTEMBER 27: Voting booths are set up for early voting at the Black Hawk County Courthouse on September 27, 2012 in Waterloo, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(2012 Getty Images)

DEMOCRATS MEDDLE IN MARYLAND’S GOP GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY

“If they’re going to say throughout these Jan. 6 hearings that democracy is under attack, how can you then also go ahead and prop some of these candidates up?” Diamond asked. 

Washington Post congressional reporter Marianna Sotomayor said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told her caucus last month that Democrats will not win on the democracy argument and that they should stick to the economy and inflation. 

She noted that many “frontline members” have said they would rather run against “a super MAGA Trump” rather than someone more moderate. 

Hunt said that while this has happened before and both parties have done it, today’s political environment is very different. 

CNN panelists on Democrats backing 'extreme' GOP candidates: 'Be careful what you wish for'

U.S. President Donald Trump pulls off his protective face mask as he poses atop the Truman Balcony of the White House after returning from being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment, in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2020.
(REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo)

POLITICAL STRATEGISTS WARN ABOUT MEDDLING IN OTHER PARTY’S PRIMARIES 

“So that is my question for Democrats. It’s like okay, you’ve got this political message about our democracy, about what’s important. Propping up these kinds of candidates like a Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania or a Kari Lake potentially in Arizona, that is contrary to everything else that you are telling the American people about where you stand, what you believe, what’s important and if ends up that the extreme candidates that they propped up get elected and actually do make moves in 2024 that jeopardize our presidential election process, they’re going to have to answer for that,” Hunt contended. 

Nichols agreed and said that it “undercuts the whole argument.” 

He said that Democrats are telling Americans that the greatest threat to our democracy were candidates like Trump, and yet they were bolstering certain candidates in tight races. He said both arguments “can’t be true.”  

“It’s not just because some of our moms are listening but, in the back of my head I always hear, ‘Be careful what you wish for,'” Nichols said. 

CNN panelists on Democrats backing 'extreme' GOP candidates: 'Be careful what you wish for'

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, a Republican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, speaks at a primary night election gathering in Chambersburg, Pa., Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP)

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Some Democrats have questioned the moves made by the Democratic Governors Association, which spent a large sum on ads boosting Dan Cox, a Republican who supports Trump’s claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election, in the Maryland’s GOP gubernatorial primary. 

Cox defeated Kelly Schulz, who was backed by Hogan. 

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