The following is a transcript of an interview with Michigan’s GOP Representative Peter Meijer that aired on “Face the Nation” Sunday, August 7, 2022.
Margaret Brennan: Congressman Peter Meijer of Michigan is one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump following the attack on the Capitol. Last Tuesday, he lost his primary race against a Trump-backed challenger. Congressman Meijer is with us this morning from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Good morning Congressman. The man who won that primary is an election denial named John Gibbs, and has the backing of former President Trump. Why do you think Michigan Republicans favored him?
Representative Peter Meijer: Good morning, Margaret. And like you said, I lost my primary and that’s on me. I take responsibility for this. But it’s important to note that it wasn’t just former President Trump who was in the running, with nearly half a million dollars that the Democratic congressional campaign committee dumped in their first of the 2022 midterm spending to help boost him. did. So we had a scenario where not only was the former president allied against me, but in a rare display of bipartisan unity, Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Campaign Committee also united to try to get me off the ballot. Now, this only exposes the cynicism and hypocrisy of our politics today. And frankly, it will be unknown what that eventual effect was, but the fact that we have the establishment left and the extreme right hand in common cause paints a very clear picture of where our politics are in 2022. .
Margaret Brennan” Well, what you’re talking about is an ad that campaigns for the Democratic Congressional Committee to promote Mr. Gibbs spent $325,000, which is what Gibbs spent throughout his campaign. That’s it. That’s what you’re referring to, that’s what our audience is seeing right there. But do you think that ad really made a difference? I mean Democrats aren’t voting in this primary, it’s Republicans Why did the Michigan Republican fall for this ad?
Representative MEIJER: Well, you know, I think the agency has a clear question here, and at the end of the day, Republican voters are going to cast their vote as they see fit. I should note that this ad was not running on MSNBC, it was not running in places where Democratic voters could see it, it was targeted in places where Republican primary voters could try to cast their primary. Tried to persuade. Challenger a boost up and over. And I should add that my defeat was about 3%, out of over 100,000 votes cast, we lost by less than 4,000 votes, and I think it’s important to remember, when you have such a very close Have elections. And competing against an apparently much stronger headwind, a Trump-backed challenger in a party where President Trump still holds more than 75% approval. The message of focusing on the essence of what I am able to accomplish in the office. I am proud that our office is on track to set a record for the highest number of bills signed into law by a new person, that such achievements are lost in our current personality politics, in a broader sense. . And I think that’s one of the fundamental challenges we face as a country, and that is, frankly, disappointing Michigan families. We’re dealing with politics that doesn’t reward substance that doesn’t reward, you know, reality.
Margaret Brennan: But what does that mean–
Rep MEIJER: It focuses on rhetoric and personality above all else.
Margaret Brennan: Do you think the Democrats will get what they paid for here? Correct? I mean, they’re betting it would be easy to lose. From you Mr. Gibbs. Is Your District About to Go to Democrats?
Representative MEIJER: It’s important to note, this is a district that President Biden won by nearly nine points in 2020, I was one of five Republicans running for re-election in seats where— President Biden had won the 2020 elections by eight or more points. And so while I think there was certainly a cynical calculus at play with Democrats’ interference, it’s a risky strategy. This is a dangerous strategy. Where President Biden is in his acknowledgment, there is in the gutter, that strategy is hard to see—it’s easy to retract that strategy spectacularly, which is all the more reason why we shouldn’t embrace the void—the sum of politics. thought. We shouldn’t take it for granted – the notion that if we can survive a problem, we can keep it going, but be able to get a modest advantage in the process, which equates to a win somehow. I think this is a dark and cynical way of looking at our politics, which is clearly rejected by 48% of voters here in the primary. They stood against the cynicism that they focused on someone who was working to deliver results.
Margaret Brennan: Your Republican ally Liz Cheney is set to face the primary in her state on Aug. 16, her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, released in this video.
Former VP Dick Cheney (SOT): “In our nation’s 246-year history, there has never been a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump. He used lies and violence to sustain himself in the last election.” He was rejected by voters after power. He is a coward. A real man will not lie to his supporters. He lost his election and he lost big. I know it. He does it. knows. And deep down I think most Republicans know it.”
Margaret Brennan: Is Mr. Cheney there because 57% of Republicans told CBS News, they are more likely to vote for a candidate who has support from a former president. Is the former president, the leader of the Republican Party or the biggest threat to our country’s republic?
Representative MEIJER: Well, I definitely think President Trump wants to keep those numbers up. He wants that level of impact, and I mentioned earlier the common reason between the extreme on the right and the setting on the left. Nancy Pelosi, I think she’s waking up every day with her fingers crossed that Donald Trump runs into 2024, that he announces well before midterm, because right now, the midterms are headed by President Biden and Speaker Pelosi. And a referendum on many is set to happen. Democratic colleagues in my house don’t want that. They want this to be a referendum on former President Trump and I think former President Trump wants the same.
Margaret Brennan: Well, we’ll be looking at that primary. And Congressmen, thank you for joining us today. We will be back soon.