tags: Press Releases

NYTimes Spotlights the Contradiction Between the GOP’s Embrace of  White Nationalist Conspiracies and GOP Latino Outreach 

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Zachary Mueller: “The promotion of the same white nationalist ideas that have inspired numerous terrorists to kill our fellow Americans should be immediately disqualifying for anyone seeking public office”

Washington, DC – Ahead of the Arizona primary elections tomorrow, New York Times political reporter Jennifer Medina spotlights the tension between an Arizona Republican Party pushing white nationalist conspiracy theories and the GOP’s efforts to make inroads among Latino and other voters repelled by such extremism. Titled “Pushing an Immigration Conspiracy Theory, While Courting Latinos,” Medina’s excellent story is focused on leading GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters, who has put forth some of the most vile and overt examples that we’ve been following at the America’s Voice GOP ad tracker

Yet the use of “invasion” and “white replacement” messaging goes well-beyond Masters and includes numerous other Arizona GOP candidates on the ballot this year, from gubernatorial candidates Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson to fellow Senate GOP contender Jim Lamon to incumbent Arizona House GOP members such as Andy Biggs and Rep. Paul Gosar, as well as in states and races across the country. And the same “invasion” and “replacement” lies have become a mainstay of GOP messaging nationally, from their loudest voices in the media and Congress. 

Below, find key excerpts from the Jennifer Medina New York Times story, followed by a reaction from America’s Voice Political Director Zachary Mueller and a collection of relevant America’s Voice resources: 

“Blake Masters, a venture capitalist running for Senate in Arizona, is among the many Republicans who argue that the left’s obsession with racial identity politics is driving Latino voters away from the Democratic Party. But as he vies for the Republican nomination, Mr. Masters has pushed a different sort of racial politics that could repel Latinos in the state.

For months, Mr. Masters has promoted a specious theory portraying illegal immigration across the southern border as part of an elaborate Democratic power grab. In speeches, social media videos and podcast interviews, he has asserted that Democrats are trying to encourage immigration so their party can dilute the political power of native-born voters.

‘What the left really wants to do is change the demographics of this country,’ Mr. Masters said in a video posted to Twitter last fall. ‘They do. They want to do that so they can consolidate power and so they can never lose another election.’ In May, he told an interviewer that Democrats were ‘trying to manufacture and import’ a new electorate.

What Mr. Masters calls an ‘obvious truth’  is what experts in extremism describe as a sanitized version of the ‘great replacement,’ a once-fringe, racist conspiracy theory that claims that Western elites, sometimes manipulated by Jews, want to replace white Americans with immigrants to weaken the influence of white culture. The idea has been linked to the massacre at a Buffalo supermarket in May, the El Paso Walmart shooting in 2019 and the killings at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.

…Democratic leaders and activists in Arizona call Mr. Masters’s immigration rhetoric dangerous, racist and hypocritical, as he sounds an alarm about changing demographics while trying to win over the group causing those demographics to change.

‘We all know you need to engage Latino voters in order to win statewide,’ said State Senator Raquel Terán, the chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. ‘There’s a real hypocrisy of him going out and talking about these replacement theories and then trying to play it that he is the person who is going to be solving your life’s problems.’

…Mike Madrid, a veteran political strategist and ‘never Trump’ Republican who has repeatedly criticized both parties’ Latino outreach efforts, said Mr. Masters’s take on replacement theory could come with political consequences. It is possible, he said, that there are ‘a growing number of Hispanic voters who are not turned off by this or even tacitly agree.’

Still, he said, the message would likely prevent Mr. Masters from appealing to moderate Hispanic voters, and could turn off white college-educated voters repelled by specious theories rooted in white supremacy. ‘Arizona has been moving left because of a convergence of a growing number of polarized Latino voters and a loss of highly educated voters,’ he said. ‘This will alienate both those groups.’”

Based on research from the America’s Voice GOP ad tracking project, our recent report identified 546 pieces of Republican political messaging that use ‘white replacement’ and a ‘migrant invasion’ in the 2022 cycle alone, including many examples in what we called a “hot spot” of extremism in Arizona.

According to Zachary Mueller, Political Director for America’s Voice:

“The promotion of the same white nationalist ideas that have inspired numerous terrorists to kill our fellow Americans should be immediately disqualifying for anyone seeking public office, let alone leading candidates in the Republican Party. Yet up and down the ballot, Arizona Republicans are proudly mainstreaming these falsehoods or refusing to denounce their fellow GOP candidates who do. 

The GOP will have to answer to immigrant and Latino voters when they claim that immigrants are ‘replacing’ white voters as they reach out to those same immigrant and Latino voters seeking their support. Every Republican who has claimed white nationalists don’t have a place in their party or who is trying to expand the Party’s appeal to Latino voters should loudly denounce the use of ‘white replacement’ and ‘invasion’ messaging by candidates such as Blake Masters and Kari Lake. This includes Juan Ciscomani and other GOP candidates who seek to represent border districts in Arizona, expand the GOP’s appeal, and are part of our ‘Show Me Your Friends’ campaign.

Rejecting the dangerous extremism consuming the leading forces in the Republican Party is also both the right thing to do and politically beneficial for the GOP in the long-run, as Madrid and others have warned of a backlash from voters who reject the extremism.”