By WEISSERT and LISA MASCARO, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – Solving a political career with the scorching pace of a scandal just once. not anymore.
Suddenly embroiled in a federal sex trafficking investigation, Rep. Matt Getz Florida Has denied the allegations, rejected suggestions he resigned and sent a fundraising appeal that portrays him as a victim of a “smear campaign”. He expects a high-profile appearance on Friday of former President Donald Trump at Doval Golf Club in Miami.
Congressmen are among a growing list of politicians on both sides – almost exclusively men – defying the traditional response to the controversy. Instead of politely moving on from public life, they barrel forward, insisting that they did nothing wrong and bet that voters will forget the alleged misdeeds, as the news cycle eventually shakes.
“Clearly this is a new strategy people are working on in response to the crisis,” said Democratic strategist and President Barack Obama administration veteran Brent Colburn. “This is a new chapter in the playbook.”
Getz’s political future is under question and may be completely disintegrated, depending on how the federal investigation unfolds. But after spending the last several years as one of Trump’s avid public defenders, Getz’s game plan strongly reflects the former president’s vision.
After a video surfaced in the final week of the 2016 campaign boasting of genitals grabbing women, Trump apologized “if anyone was offended” and dismissed the episode as “locker room talk” . He refused calls from some of his own party to drop the presidential ticket and won the election only a few weeks later.
As president, Trump will respond to one sacking scandal one after another by continuously moving forward, making it difficult for the public to last too long on one issue, even if it means fresh controversy on another topic.
The pressure is on the Getz. A hearing on Thursday revealed that one of his political aides, Joel Greenberg, is working with federal investigators to make a plea that could add to the legal threat of Getz.
For now, however, the Congress president appears to be imitating the former president’s approach and appealing to his most loyal supporters. The group sponsored Friday’s event, in which he would say that a January 6 “March for Trump” rally was held in Washington, which ended with crowding the US Capitol in a deadly rebellion.
Republican strategist Rick Wilson said, “Trump looked into Matt Getz to see what he wants for everyone,” adding that Congress is, in many ways, “the son he never had.”
Getz is not alone in refusing to bow down to a political storm.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to resign despite several sexual misconduct allegations.
Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam resigned in 2019, when a picture from a 1984 medical school book appeared showing one man in blackface and the other wearing a Ku Klux Klan. Northam apologized, stating that he was the one in the robe. But he refused a few days later.
The political results eventually calmed down and the stay allowed Northam to win accolades for dealing with Virginia’s response to the coronovirus epidemic.
Male politicians are more likely to implement the strategy. California Rep. Katie Hill resigned in 2019 after admitting to inappropriate relationships with two employees.
“Men of both parties will do this. They repeat, they refuse and they hope that it will pass by them. “Women are at a great disadvantage if they do so.”
Meredith Conroy, a political science professor at California State University in San Bernardino and author of several books, including “Musculinity, Media, and the American Presidency,” said that women are more at risk of scandal than their male counterparts.
“Women in general, but also in politics, are considered more honest and ethical and trustworthy,” Conroy said. “So, when women don’t fit that image, it definitely becomes a matter of criticism.”
One exception is republican Georgia Rape Marjorie Taylor Green, who is also on Friday night’s Doral program and pursued a push-forward-at-all-cost strategy. Green was removed from his committee’s work and forced to apologize on the floor of the House for his previous support of QAnon and other conspiracy theories and for spreading racist crops.
But she refused to resign, and saw her fundraising Spike and her star shine only in a few conservative circles.
Getz is expected to return to Washington next week when the Congress resumes, and is not expected to abstain from potential fights. He remains popular in his heavily pro-Trump district, meaning that calls for his resignation that resonate in places like Washington are unlikely to return home.
Wilson expressed skepticism that Gates’ skills should not be underestimated as a “conspicuous” debater as he carried on the installation, much to the delight of Trump supporters across the country.
“This is a real test case,” Wilson said of the Trump-style strategy. Wilson said that days before initial reports surfaced, he was hearing from people inside and outside the Florida government that Getz was “test-driving” his defense.
According to a person familiar with the case, Getz also approached White House officials, demanding a pre-paid pardon for himself near the end of Trump’s term.
The person said the request was for a comprehensive retrospective pardon for Geetz and other congressional Republicans. It came as the Justice Department was actively investigating Getz’s conduct to determine if he violated federal sexual trafficking laws and was questioning colleagues about his behavior. It was not clear whether he brought up the specific investigation during the discussion.
Trump has said that Getz never apologized to him.
Even though moving forward will help politicians face immediate crises, in the meantime, this does not always leave them with too much political status. Trump, of course, lost last year’s election to Biden and Cuomo and found himself politically isolated. Northam is term-limited and will not face reallocation.
Top Republicans have failed to speak in defense of Gatz. Floridian’s attention-grabbing style has often antagonized the two sides, further suggesting that, although his congressional seat is secure, he is likely to gain much, even within his own party, outside of Trump’s shadow Is not.
President Bill Clinton used a different strategy to avoid impeachment during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, eventually contesting the election and seeing much of the political blame that eventually fell on the GOP-controlled House, leaving him in a strong position Got permission to finish. Newt Gingrich resigned from House Speakership in 1999 amid scandal, but recovered enough to run for president in 2012, winning in 2012 South Carolina Republican Primary.
“If your goal is simply to maintain your position, then this can be an effective strategy. If your goal is to impact, it’s probably not the way to go, “said Colburn. “Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.”
Associated Press writer Michael Balasamo contributed to this report.
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