CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday pointedly asked whether the Republican Party “is now the party of deranged bigots” after two far-right GOP congressional candidates won their primary elections this week.
Tapper noted to former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) that “two completely unhinged conspiracy theorists, both of them complete bigots as well” are now GOP nominees for congressional seats.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a businesswoman, won the runoff for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. She has embraced QAnon and 9/11 truther conspiracy theories and expressed anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic views in videos online.
Far-right extremist Laura Loomer, who describes herself as a “proud Islamophobe,” will contest Florida’s 21st Congressional District. She has been banned from social media for hate speech.
“President Donald Trump has praised both of them, gone out of his way to say positive things about these really rather unlikeable candidates in terms of what they say and do,” said Tapper.
The anchor then asked: “Is it possible that the Republican Party is now the party of deranged bigots and there isn’t a place in it any longer for a Charlie Dent?”
Dent, a moderate who stepped down from Congress in 2018 and has endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the 2020 election, expressed shock at Trump’s praise for the two nominees.
“All this does is empower the whack-jobs and the nuts to come out,” said Dent.
“With strong leadership, we should be able to marginalize folks like that and it’s really a sad state of affairs when the president endorses a 9/11 truther,” Dent added. “I mean, it’s just beyond me.”
Check out the exchange here: