Weekly Roundup: Dodgy James Craig’s Spectacularly Bad Week Has Dixon, Soldano, and Kelley Picking Up the Slack

As August draws to a close, here’s how the Republican gubernatorial primary shaped up this week:

The James Craig campaign apparently invited press to a roundtable and then locked them out of the room on the other side of a glass barrier. In a weak attempt to fix the onslaught of negative press Craig was getting before the original event even concluded, his consultants threw him and his group behind a podium for a Q&A session — Craig’s first as a candidate for governor – and it was a complete disaster. 

The only thing Craig did was argue that he wasn’t dodging questions as he actively dodged questions and poorly explain his COVID-19 safety order enforcement based on political expedience, while everyone standing by his side refused to endorse him when asked directly. 

And most notably, he once again refused to address the defining Republican purity test question of this cycle: was the 2020 election legitimate?

All in all, it was such a disaster for Craig that it even compelled us to throw him a lifeline. The headlines spoke for themselves:

  • MIRS: Craig: ‘No Secrets’ In Closed-Off Roundtable With Law Enforcement
  • Gongwer: Craig Talks Tough On Prosecuting Crimes; Ducks 2020 Election Questions
  • Deadline Detroit: James Craig Shows His Delicate Balancing Act When Tiptoeing Through Trump Questions
  • Detroit Free Press: James Craig says he doesn’t have information to weigh in on Trump’s stolen election claims
  • MLive: James Craig says he’d accept Trump endorsement, doesn’t take position on stolen election claims

Then, in another bizarre move to cover up how bad his press conference went, Craig …blamed local reporters for not covering an event he didn’t allow them to cover – leading multiple journalists to call him out for hiding in response.

Meanwhile, Craig’s opponents aren’t falling into that trap. Tudor Dixon was profiled by The Detroit News which pointed out that “she answered an array of policy questions — some of which other candidates in the race have avoided.” And she falls exactly where the increasingly influential Republican grassroots base wants on 2020. This week, she penned a lengthy op-ed going all in on the notion that the election was stolen from Donald Trump: “Whether you call it “stolen,” or “rigged,” or something else, the bottom line is Benson and other Democratic officials changed the rules to improve their chances of defeating Trump.”

And lastly, Republican gubernatorial candidates Garrett Soldano and Ryan Kelley are so effective at spreading rhetoric downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19 that it earned them national attention. This week The Verge covered how both candidates have used TikTok to garner and perpetuate support for the anti-vaxx and anti-mask movements, which will only serve to drag this pandemic out even further.

Do your part! Join the millions of Michiganders that are vaccinated and wear a mask indoors. Have a great weekend from MDP!

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