sen. Virginia state GOP Amanda Chase used a radio interview on Tuesday to falsely claim that Democrats are trying to “steal” the state’s impending gubernatorial election, the first major race to take place in the wake of President Donald’s ongoing lies. Trump that the 2020 presidential contest was stolen from him.
“I know how they steal elections, and we won’t let that happen this year,” Chase said of Democrats. during a Tuesday interview, before launching a series of absurd claims about next month’s election. The interview was conducted by John Fredericks, a conservative radio host whose show Trump used last month to claim the Democrats would try to steal the elections.
Chase, who? attended the January 6 rally in which Trump called on his supporters to “stop stealing” for the US Capitol uprising, has in recent weeks campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin has flirted with Trump’s election-related conspiracies during the race without explicitly endorsing them, while trying to appeal to moderate voters without alienating Trump supporters who have bought the lies the party has been telling about the 2020 election. Chase’s comments, and her increasingly prominent role in the late stages of the race, suggest parts of the GOP have decided to bet the contest largely on the ability of election-related conspiracies to motivate conservative voters.
During the interview, Chase said she had “cleared her schedule” and planned to spend the last 10 days of the campaign with and for Youngkin before the November 2 election. She is also scheduled to appear at a Wednesday event alongside the GOP’s lieutenant governor candidate Winsome Sears, and former Trump confidant Steve Bannon, who has also spread the lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
During election debates, Youngkin has said he believes the 2020 election was “demonstrably fair” and that he expects “clean, fair elections” in Virginia this year. Youngkin campaign spokesman Macaulay Porter argued that former Governor Terry McAuliffe, Youngkin’s Democratic opponent, “is the only candidate in this race who falsely claimed an election was stolen,” pointing to McAuliffe’s previous claims that the 2000 presidential election was stolen from Al Gore.
But Porter did not directly comment on the content of Chase’s statements, nor did he dispute Chase’s own characterization of himself as a surrogate for the Youngkin campaign.
Throughout the 16-minute interview, Chase spun an increasingly bizarre web of conspiracies, lies, and other baseless claims about alleged election-stealing plots dating back to 2016. She only claimed to be aware of Democratic plans to hold the 2016 presidential election.” citing the repeatedly debunked claim that votes were illegitimately swapped during the 2020 presidential race, then went on to claim that Democrats are currently trying to manipulate the governor’s race by manipulating voter lists, carrying out “cyber attacks” on voter registration files, and absent ballots.
She spoke of a meeting with Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem, a Republican candidate for secretary of state who has been promoting conspiracy theories about Trump’s loss there last year. Chase said he and other unnamed people who were part of recent rallies, including “the man who stopped the cyber attacks” that were part of the alleged 2016 election plot, “showed me exactly how they steal elections in Virginia.”
But this time, she said, she and other Republicans, including Youngkin’s campaign, know how to thwart the elaborate election-stealing conspiracy she claims the Democrats fabricated.
“I know how they do it,” Chase said. “They move, in cyberland, they turn inactive voters into active voters, all in the same week, it’s undetectable. I know what they’re doing, John, and now the Youngkin campaign has all that information and they won’t make it with us this year.”
“Everyone saw thousands of votes swapped where Trump actually lost votes,” Chase continued. “I know how they do it, and now the Youngkin campaign has it, and we won’t let that happen. So I’m informing the Democrats.”
Fredericks elaborated on Chase’s theory, falsely accusing Democrats of using voter lists and registries to identify registered voters who were unlikely to vote and then fraudulently filling out absentee ballots and putting them in drop boxes.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Chase said.
There was no widespread fraud in last year’s election, or any other in recent US history. Chase has also failed to provide any evidence for her claim that Democrats are currently “cheating” on multiple fronts. The Virginia early voting began on September 17, and there have been no substantiated reports of crimes or irregularities to date.
“Glenn Youngkin and his key allies have one priority: to bring Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda to Virginia,” Democratic Party spokesman Manuel Bonder said in a statement. “Youngkin has made it clear: he would be more than happy to destroy our democracy if it means getting himself and Trump to power. He doesn’t belong anywhere near the governorship.”
Porter, the spokesperson for the Youngkin campaign, also criticized McAuliffe’s upcoming campaign tour with former State Representative Stacey Abrams, who refused to admit her loss in the 2018 governor’s race over claims of voter suppression and because her opponent, then Secretary of State Brian Kemp, had also oversaw the race in which he ran. “The McAuliffe-Abrams Election Denier Tour will feature two of the top three election conspiracy theorists in the [Democratic] Party: The only one missing is McAuliffe’s mentor Hillary Clinton,” Porter said. Both Abrams and McAuliffe have turned down such comparisons.
Youngkin has said he believes President Joe Biden? legitimately won the election. But he also made “election integrity” — the euphemism Republicans have adopted to — keep nodding to Trump’s conspiracy theories and restrict voting rights ― a centerpiece of his campaign.
Youngkin has said that he is a “election integrity task force‘ as governor and headlined ‘election integrity’ rallies held during this year’s race. He has also pushed voter identity laws and other policies that Republicans have tried aggressively to implement after last year’s election, emphatically avoided the chance to refute voter claims who have asked him about alleged fraud, or whether Trump can be reinstated as president. (It can’t be him.)
The problem has: causes headaches for Youngkin throughout the race, complicating his efforts to appeal to Trump conservative voters and moderates alike, he should take the Virginia GOP’s first state win since 2009. Youngkin somewhat follows McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, in pre-election polls.
Last week, Youngkin called for audits of Virginia’s voting machines, a practice often legitimate but which McAuliffe decried as an attempt to placate Virginia conservatives who want an Arizona-style “forensic audit” of the 2020 state election. youngkin later said he only called for the kind of legitimate audits Virginia already conducts, which McAuliffe has also supported.
Chase, who visited Arizona earlier this year during his mock audit and also called for a similar trial in Virginia, expressed gratitude to Youngkin for not writing off “Trump Republicans” like her.
“Glenn really unites the party,” she said during the interview. “And I know there are some Republicans who want to try and cancel the Trump Republicans, and I really appreciate Glenn not doing that. I mean, he’s really trying to bring us all together.”