ICYMI: James Craig Won’t Be Able to Dodge the Big Lie Much Longer

“The Republican voters most likely to turn out for next year’s gubernatorial primary believe the election was stolen, and the pressure on any candidate to embrace that narrative will be immense.” – Nancy Kaffer

LANSING — This Monday, Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced his upcoming retirement but made more news for refusing to answer any questions about where he stands on major Republican issues despite using the media attention to identify himself as one for the first time. Writing for the Detroit Free Press, Nancy Kaffer identified in an opinion piece this week that Craig’s most damning dodge focused on refusing to denounce the GOP’s false lies about the 2020 election that led to the deadly insurrection on January 6th.

Kaffer wrote: “…the question the chief dodged is one he’ll have to answer, sooner rather than later, if indeed he is running: Does Detroit’s police chief believe there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 president election?” 

All five candidates currently in the Republican gubernatorial primary run the full gamut of fringe, from opposing COVID-19 public safety measures to proudly participating in the violent January 6th insurrection. Given that this primary climate only reflects where the Republican party is naturally heading nationwide, it is only a matter of time until pledges of loyalty to propagating the Big Lie become the #1 litmus test candidates must pass to gain support.

In her piece, Kaffer walks through this analysis by stating that all candidates will have to cater to an increasingly far-right electorate that both “believe the election was stolen” and will put immense “pressure on any candidate to embrace that narrative…true believer or not.” Being ordained by MIGOP co-chairs Ron Weiser and Meshawn Maddock won’t be enough to exempt Craig from this rule.

Read more from Nancy Kaffer’s piece on what’s already become the defining issue of James Craig’s flirt with a run:

Detroit Free Press: The Question Chief Craig Will Have to Answer

“Yes, I am a Republican,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig declared Monday afternoon, moments after announcing his impending retirement from the department he has led for the past eight years — reportedly, a prelude to challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022 — and moments before declaring that he didn’t intend to discuss politics just yet. 

It’s a bit of rhetorical hair-splitting worthy of the politician Craig may aspire to become. But the question the chief dodged is one he’ll have to answer, sooner rather than later, if indeed he is running: Does Detroit’s police chief believe there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 president election? 

It’s a question any Republican gubernatorial hopeful will have to answer, and it’s the first step on a thorny path of politics and partisanship. […]

Polls conducted as recently as last month show that most Republicans believe the 2020 election was rigged, and that President Joe Biden did not legitimately win the presidency, a conviction that has persisted for months despite a dearth of evidence.

It’s the same lie Republican canvassers invoked in their campaign to derail certification of our election results, first in Wayne County, and then at the Board of State Canvassers. Statewide election results were certified by a one-vote margin, and the Republican state canvasser who cast the deciding vote has since been replaced by a more partisan appointee.

The new leaders of the Michigan GOP are Trump loyalists; co-chair Meshawn Maddock attended a Stop the Steal protest in Washington D.C. the day of the Capitol insurrection. 

A host of election reforms introduced in the state Legislature are predicated on the idea, not backed by any evidence or endorsed by any clerk of either party, that our elections are not secure. […]

It’s worth noting that Craig’s police department hasn’t made any arrests for election fraud. But the Republican voters most likely to turn out for next year’s gubernatorial primary believe the election was stolen, and the pressure on any candidate to embrace  that narrative will be immense, true believer or not. […]

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