The Republican primary for U.S. Senate has certainly amped up over the last two weeks but the Pensler campaign seems to have a big problem – the candidate.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that although Sandy Pensler left the state of Michigan for New York City in the mid 90’s, he previously ran for congress in Livingston county on a platform which included stances on being pro-choice and pro-socialized healthcare (which in turn means higher taxes). Once outed on this, he tried to pivot and say his positions had evolved but there’s too much ‘there to try’ and run from. To make matters worse, newspaper clippings and quotes from articles were found which chronicled his positions and put them there in black and white for the entire electorate to see.
It’s tough for candidates – but from time to time they can get away with saying they’ve evolved on one position. But what’s the old saying? “A leopard can’t change his spots?” It’s almost impossible for a candidate to formerly be pro-choice, pro-socialized healthcare (which in turn means higher taxes) and then come back and say you’re a God-fearing, tried and true social and fiscal conservative. The electorate simply won’t buy it. He’s essentially saying, ‘I’m an entirely different person now.’
Then, last month, a video was posted showing Pensler (at a Republican event) criticizing President Trump. This wasn’t a small local story. It was posted on a national website, The Daily Caller. The video has recently picked up steam with videos going around on Facebook amongst conservative activists.
So, to add salt to the wound, here’s a candidate who, in a recent article with MLIVE, said his plan to defeat Debbie Stabenow and win in November was to hold the Trump coalition together. But how can you hold a coalition together when you’re openly criticizing the main protagonist of that coalition?
I’ve said it before – I won’t begrudge someone who was pro-choice to become pro-life. If that’s true and in his soul he’s changed – then GREAT – welcome to the family. But when you pair that with changes on fundamental issues like socialized medicine, higher taxes and reductions in military spending – NO WAY. Then, add the icing on the cake that you’re running ads snuggling up to the President but personally trashing the guy behind closed doors…I’m not buying. As one conservative activist recently told me, “When you add up all the negatives on this guy – it certainly means he can’t win in November. And if he can’t win in November – I don’t want him winning in August. He’s not a conservative and he’s not for Trump.”
It all just adds up to an impossible situation for the Pensler campaign. Try as they may to use TV ads to promote the candidate as a Trump conservative – and spend millions of dollars trekking them all over the state – they have one big problem they just can’t change…the candidate.