Endorsement brings to light the two main sides of “America First”, the traditional/mainstream vs. the “populist”/fringe and Lombardi backed by latter
Back in April when Freelancer Gabriella Hoffman interviewed Republican IL-16 candidate Catalina Lauf, an exchange about the “hijacking” of the America First movement was discussed, with Hoffman describing the “traditional conservatism” opposed to “populism”, pointing out there are areas of overlap.
With Friday’s tweets of 5-term Congressman Paul Gosar (R, AZ-04) backing IL-16 candidate Jack Lombardi, the lines between “populism” America First, backed by the likes of Gosar, ex Congressman Steve King (R, IA-04) and activist Nick Fuentes, and traditional America First can no longer be blurred.
In a June 28 comment on an IL-16 article, Lombardi himself said the following:
“[Catalina Lauf ]…will have to spend 4 to 1 to match the populist“Jack Lombardi, emphasis added 6/28/21 comment
So Lombardi in his own words embraced the “populist” label of America First, which ties him to the Groypers who are backed by Congressman Gosar, ex Congressman King and Nick Fuentes.
Since 2019, the Groypers under Nick Fuentes’ leadership broke away from more traditional America First supporters like the American Conservative Union, who hosts “Conservative Political Action Conference” (CPAC) each year. Indeed, under Fuentes’ “America First Foundation” non-partisan, non-profit, Fuentes and others launched a rival “America First Political Action Conference” (AFPAC), which would hold its meetings at the same time as the annual CPAC in February.
In February of this year, when CPAC met in Orlando, AFPAC2 met in Orlando on same weekend.
When CPAC met in Dallas earlier this month, Fuentes had a rival conference across the street from the CPAC hotel venue, and Fuentes sporting his Pit Viper shades tried to crash CPAC. Here’s the short 2-minute, relatively tame video, including Fuentes’ speaking:
From the desk of John Lopez: Am I making this stuff up of Gosar ties to Fuentes? Nope, you can read about it from late last month here, and feel free to Google the fallout articles and read for yourself.
As for the hour-plus long speech Fuentes made in Dallas after the above video was shot, feel free to Google/YouTube search for it.
Back to Gosar backing Lombardi, here is how the tweets went down on Friday:
That was basically it, nothing formally in writing, nor a joint appearance (not even virtual joint appearance), just a tweet, as fundraising for Q2 reports had finished being posted.
Late yesterday, the Daily Herald picked up the Gosar-Lombardi story and published it yesterday evening online, and appeared in today’s print edition. POLITICO‘s “Illinois Playbook” column published a blurb from the Herald‘s story this morning.
Will this really help Lombardi? Probably not, as his real pain point for his campaign is fundraising. We saw Lombardi’s boast about Catalina Lauf needing to spend 4 times more against the self-described “populist”.
Using the cash receipts/expenses chart for all Kinzinger’s challengers who reported fundraising last week, looks like Lauf has spent over 10 times Lombardi, and for the year, raised over 10 times Lombardi (reminder, the below chart excludes in-kind receipts and expenses):
Where does QAnon/WWG1WGA fit into all this? QAnon is a discredited conspiracy theory that is shrouded in some overlapping truth. One will likely find QAnon believers to a certain degree in both America First camps.
External references to both sides of America First are below:
- Traditional/mainstream America First, through the America First Policy Institute can be viewed here
- Populist/Groyper America First, through America First Foundation can be viewed here
If you’re going to be involved in Republican politics during the 2022 election cycle, please learn what will be at stake from resources above.
Just think, I didn’t even cover Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s (R, IL-16) “Country First” views, yet.