(Chuck Muth) – In Monday’s edition of Muth’s Truths (“Saving Private Laxalt: Attack of the DC GOP Swamp Creatures”) I wrote…
“On the other hand, another swamp tactic is to have a dumpster diver dig up ‘dirt’ on an opponent, feed it to a friendly reporter, and let the media outlet do a hit piece so you have ‘plausible deniability.’ It’s a standard DC parlor game.
“Well, expect to see just such a hit piece from a national conservative publication with deep ties to the GOP establishment swamp to come out on Sam (Brown) this week; with the attack being that Sam is a ‘career politician’ because he once ran unsuccessfully for a state legislative seat in Texas a few years ago and that he’s a ‘carpet-bagger’ because he moved to Nevada after finishing rehab for his war injuries in Dallas.
“The article is also likely to parrot Team Laxalt’s claim that daring to challenge The Chosen One’s anointment in the GOP primary makes you disloyal to President Trump because the President – for a variety of political reasons – has endorsed Laxalt.”
And lo and behold, the very next day Breitbart News published just such an article with this click-bait headline…
“Nevada Senate Candidate Running Against Trump-Backed Pick Says He’s Not Career Politician Yet Sought Office Several Times in 2 States”
You know those people who say, “I don’t want to say I told you so”? Yeah, I’m not one of them.
Told you so.
If this is the best Team Laxalt’s got against Sam, they ain’t got squat. Let’s unravel it…
First, Sam ran ONCE before for elected office, not “several times.” To get to “several,” the reporter cites “two Nevada sources” – anonymous, of course – who claim Sam considered running for the Nevada state Assembly in 2020.
Unnamed, anonymous sources. What does President Trump call that? Oh, yeah, right. Fake news.
Nevertheless, even if Sam did explore a run for the Legislature in 2020, he didn’t pull the trigger. So he’s run ONCE before. And one, or even two, doesn’t equate to “several” no matter how you slice it.
On the other hand, Laxalt is now running for his THIRD office. So if Sam’s a “career politician” for running twice, what’s that make Adam? Well, it makes him the pot calling the kettle black.
Secondly, the story claims that “Laxalt is leading Cortez Masto in general election polling, and leading in the primary.”
The first part is true. Although Laxalt has his own internal pollster, the campaign last week touted results from another pollster showing Adam ahead of Cortez Masto by three points.
However, this supposedly independent pollster either didn’t do or didn’t publish numbers for a possible Brown/Cortez Masto matchup. For all we know, Sam might be ahead of Cortez Masto by an even greater margin than Laxalt.
In addition, there’s no poll out there that I know of showing Laxalt ahead of Brown in the primary. It might well be true – actually, it should be true considering Laxalt’s name ID advantage at this point – but there’s no basis for Breitbart to claim Laxalt is “leading in the primary.”
Thirdly, the article claims Sam “also said it would ‘literally take an act of God’ to get him to leave the Lone Star state” (Texas) without citing where or when that statement was supposedly made.
But let’s assume Sam DID say it. So what? Circumstances change. And here’s what changed…
You see, Sam wasn’t just some pencil-pushing REMF in the military who suffered a paper cut. He was a combat soldier whose Humvee was blown up by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. Here’s a shot of the wreckage after the explosion…
Sam was covered in diesel fuel from the attack, set on fire, and severely burned over 90 percent of his body. It was only a real act of God he didn’t die that day – like one of his soldiers who was killed in the attack.
He then went through three years of painful rehab for his injuries. Here’s a photo of Sam bandaged head-to-toe in the hospital burn unit…
While Sam is recovered now and leading as normal a life as possible under the circumstances – including being married with three children – he’s still injured, and has the scars to prove it.
And in addition to skin damage on the outside, he also suffered “inhalation” injuries to his lungs from sucking down flames from the diesel fuel while he was on fire. In fact, they had to put him on a ventilator for two full weeks because of it.
And here’s the thing: The dry high-desert air in northern Nevada is much better for his damaged lungs than the humid air in Texas. Thus, the move to Reno, while not exactly an “act of God,” makes perfect sense under the circumstances.
And Laxalt/Breitbart want to attack him for THAT??? Especially since Laxalt’s entire reason for moving to Nevada a few years ago from Virginia was solely for the purpose of running for office.
One last point…
It’s suspected that Trump adviser Ric Grenell is the puppet-master behind the scenes pulling the DC swamp strings to squash any negative stories about Adam and peddling “dirt” on Sam. And that’s not hard to believe since Grenell has come after me personally for writing about this stuff.
Indeed, Grenell is as possessively protective of Adam as a spouse on the campaign trail. Honestly, it’s a little weird.
Anyway, Grenell, of course, has endorsed Adam. And in his endorsement statement he writes…
“As the former Acting Director of National Intelligence, I trust Adam to keep our country safe, he will be a reliable defender of the American people’s interest…”
Fine and dandy. However…
If the standard is putting trust into someone who will keep our country safe and be a reliable defender of the American people’s interest, Sam has PROVEN he meets, and exceeds, that standard.
Indeed, he damn near gave his very life doing it.
If Ric was honest and not playing DC politics, he’d be supporting Sam Brown in this race, not Adam Laxalt. And would advise President Trump to do the same.
Which brings us to a thorny question: What will Republicans do after the primary is over? Will they rally ‘round the nominee no matter who wins?
I can’t speak for you, but if Laxalt wins – as conventional wisdom expects – I’d be inclined to vote for him in the general. But that’s not a given.
In the 2018 general election, Adam refused to support the GOP candidate, Dennis Hof (disclaimer, one of my clients at the time), who won the primary for a state Assembly seat.
With that precedent, Adam can’t automatically expect Republicans to vote for him in the general election simply because he’s the Republican nominee. He’s going to have to earn their support. What’s good for the goose and all that.
And I’m not sure having the DC swamp establishment attacking Capt. Brown for supposedly being a “career politician” and a “carpet-bagger” when Adam’s just as guilty, if not more so, than Sam in those departments, is a smart move.
Adam may well be able to win the GOP primary without Sam’s MAGA supporters, but he certainly can’t win the general without them. Just ask Dean “Never Trump” Heller. So his campaign might want to think about that before unleashing more thin-gruel attacks like this one from Breitbart.
Final Thought: You know who’s a real career politician? Mitch McConnell. He’s been in the Senate since 1984. And who’s McConnell supporting? Adam Laxalt.
And with that in mind, on Tuesday Laxalt tweeted…
“Inflation is now at 9.6% and Senate Democrats want to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion just so that they can spend trillions more. I oppose raising the debt ceiling…”
But it was his patron, McConnell, who enabled raising the debt ceiling by allowing Democrats to do so without a filibuster-proof super-majority. From Newsmax this morning…
“Former President Donald Trump on Sunday called for an end to Republican Mitch McConnell’s term as Senate Minority Leader because ‘the Old Crow’ is ‘giving the Democrats victory on everything.’ … Last week, McConnell negotiated a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to allow the Democrats to hike the debt ceiling with just a majority of votes rather than 60 in order to overcome a filibuster….”
If he was in the Senate, would Adam have thrown his support behind Mitch on allowing the debt ceiling increase…or Trump, who opposed it? And, if elected, will he support keeping McConnell as leader of the GOP Senate caucus?
These are legitimate and open questions. Nevada Republicans should ask them. And Adam should have to answer them. Inquiring minds wanna know.
“As Economic Development Director for North Las Vegas in 1981, I was part of a team, led by then Senator Paul Laxalt, that hosted a California event designed to recruit businesses to North Las Vegas. My knowledge of the Senator indicates that he and Adam Laxalt have little in common other than the name. Frankly, I suspect that Senator Laxalt would probably support Sam Brown over Adam. I strongly support Sam Brown.” – John Vettel
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“GET RID OF MITCH!” – Donald Trump, 12/12/21
“Kelly Tshibaka, the conservative Republican U.S. Senate candidate challenging establishment incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in Alaska in the primary next year, said she will not support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as leader if she is elected to the Senate.” – Breitbart News, 12/13/21
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at MuthsTruths.com