New York Times Profiles Rep. Stefanik’s Reinvention into Trump Ally, Which Includes Full-Throated Adoption of Dangerous Immigrant “Invasion” Rhetoric
Washington, DC – A New York Times profile of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) describes her reinvention into a hardline Trump ally who “embodies a changed GOP”:
“A once-moderate Republican who worked in President George W. Bush’s White House and was a protégé of former Speaker Paul D. Ryan, she is the embodiment of the rapid shift in the Republican Party. In just a few short years, she has morphed from the conservative mainstream into an unlikely star of the MAGA universe and a die-hard Trump loyalist.”
In fact, on immigration, Rep. Stefanik sounds similar to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), whom the Daily Beast described accurately as “the COVID vaccine-hating, conspiracy theory-spewing freshman congresswoman who came to national prominence as a far-right QAnon promoter.” Rep. MTG spoke at Donald Trump’s rally in Georgia this weekend and stated, “Republicans are taking back the House in ‘22 and we are not going to be the same Republican party you have witnessed for the past decades, you will see a new Republican party.” This “new Republican party” is in the mold of Rep. Greene, who spoke at a white nationalist conference in February and has become a “sought-after 2022 endorser” in Republican primaries.
From the backbench to the center of GOP House Leadership, the fringe and the mainstream speak with one voice on immigration. Both Reps. Stefanik and Greene and this “new Republican party” have embraced dangerous immigrant “invasion” and “replacement theory” language, the type of language that inspires violence and motivated domestic terrorists, including those who perpetrated mass killings in Pittsburgh (2018) and El Paso (2019).
- Rep. Greene has repeatedly peddled this dangerous rhetoric. Just last Friday, she took to Twitter to make the gross comparison between the situation in Ukraine and refugees looking for asylum at our southern border writing “The same ‘experts’ and talking heads on tv, all claim they care about Ukraine’s democracy, Ukraine’s borders, and Ukrainian’s right to defend themselves. Yet none of them care about the daily deadly invasion happening every day on our border and the devastating consequences.”
- Rep. Stefanik’s largest regional paper, the Albany Times Union lambasted her in an editorial last September after her Facebook ads employed a repackaged version of the “replacement theory”- the same conspiracy that animated the torch-wielding crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. The paper wrote, “Ms. Stefanik isn’t so brazen as to use the slogans themselves; rather, she couches the hate in alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s become standard fare for the party of Donald Trump … If there’s anything that needs replacing in this country — and in the Republican party — it’s the hateful rhetoric that Ms. Stefanik and far too many of her colleagues so shamelessly spew.”
According to Zachary Mueller, America’s Voice Political Director,
Elise Stefanik’s reinvention into a Trump hardliner is more than just a story of a cynical political opportunism. It captures how dangerous white nationalist conspiracies, like the ‘replacement theory’ and ‘invasion’ rhetoric, have been mainstreamed throughout the Republican Party right up to their congressional leadership. That Rep. Stefanik sounds virtually indistinguishable from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on immigration is a reminder of the GOP’s ugly and troubling descent to radical nativist politics. There no longer exists a moderate wing of the GOP. It is now led from the extreme right by MTG, Donald Trump, and newly radicalized leaders like Stefanik — arguably the most cynical of the three. It’s heartbreaking and devoid of real solutions. Rep. Stefanik shows that the Republican party doesn’t care about doing the work of governing and is only interested in how much racialized fear and division they can generate to drive their base to the polls.
Check out ongoing examples of Republicans’ anti-immigrant ads at the America’s Voice GOP Ad Tracker: http://gopadtracker.com/