A Virginia senate candidate is being actively rebuked by his own party in a clearly co-ordinated effort between the national, state and local establishment GOP.
“We will be discussing the Republican candidates running for senate positions: Nick Freitas, Bert Mizusawa, Ivan Raiklin and E.W. Jackson,” wrote University of Richmond College Republicans executive board member Wyatt Lindsey in an email to club members.
Conspicuously missing from the list of candidates whom the U of R College Republicans would be discussing is Corey Stewart, former Trump campaign staffer and Virginia gubernatorial candidate.
Freitas and Stewart are the frontrunners in the campaign, and are expected to fight a bitter battle until the June primary elections.
The University of Richmond College Republicans is part of the College Republican Federation of Virginia, which is officially organized under the Republican Party of Virginia. It is a violation of campaign rules for Republican Party-affiliated groups to endorse a GOP candidate until after the primary.
The U of R College Republicans did not respond to a request for comment about whether leaving Stewart off their discussion list was done purposefully, or if it was an implicit endorsement of Freitas or another candidate.
College Republicans across Virginia have been duped by shadowy establishments figures propping up Freitas as a Trump-supporting, America First ally.
Chad Kubis, Executive Director of Students for Nick Freitas and a student at Liberty University described Freitas as “a Liberty minded conservative, but agrees with 95% of Trump’s policies except those which deal with taxation with tariffs.”
Unfortunately, Chad and his like-minded college republican ilk have been led astray. They want to support a non-controversial establishment candidate like Frietas, which is understandable, but describing Freitas as a Trump ally is a blatant mischaracterization.
In deleted social media posts from 2015 and 2016, Freitas referred to President Trump as a “5-time draft deferring ‘tough guy’ who would “take some candy from a small child . . . or maybe kick a kitten,” according to the Washington Post.
He also wrote on social media that Trump was not a candidate for “liberty-minded conservatives,” a statement which Trump has proven false in his first 15 months in office.
Hindsight is 20/20, and now that Freitas has seen Trump’s conservative results, he wants to pretend that he’s been on the America First train since day one.
But in February, Freitas riled up Trump supporters, saying that Trump “makes people cringe” with some of his statements.
In a piece published in Inside NOVA, Freitas is described as “quickly becoming the favorite of the more traditional wing of the [GOP],” and as “not quite willing to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico.”
In 2015, Freitas shared a post by known Never Trump blogger Matt Walsh on Facebook, in which Walsh tore Trump to shreds.
“I am not a fan of Donald Trump. I have many reasons, for instance I dislike everything about him,” wrote the edgy Walsh.
Walsh went on to describe Trump as a “crony capitalist,” a “sensitive, petty man with a thin skin,” and a “whiny trust fund baby” with a “non-existent character.” Freitas, of course, has now unshared the post.
Does it sound like Nick Freitas supports President Trump?
Freitas has also long been supportive of establishment Republicans, including former Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor. Cantor was ousted from the House in shocking fashion in a 2014 primary race by Dave Brat, a then-unknown economics professor and Tea Party candidate, showing Virginians’ desire to distance themselves from the establishment GOP.
The anti-Stewart scale-tipping does not end with painting Freitas as a Trump supporting candidate, though. The entirety of the GOP establishment is on an “anyone but Stewart” rampage. In December, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, met with former Governor James S. Gilmore III and asked him to enter the race. Gardner is a notable anti-Trumper, most recently voting with Democrats to shield DACA recipients from deportation.
Shallow support for Trump by “conservative” politicians is thematic across the state of Virginia. Republican Rep. Scott Taylor blamed Ed Gillespie’s 2017 failed gubernatorial bid partly on Trump’s “divisive rhetoric.”
Virginia Republican Rep. Don Beyer released a statement upon the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling Trump’s administration chaotic and dangerous.
“The instability which Trump has created in the upper echelons of his Administration is dangerous and jeopardizes major diplomatic and security priorities,” the statement said.
Virginia Republican Rep. Dave Brat, reneging on the Tea Party principles for which he was elected in the first place, remains opposed to deporting DACA recipients and Trump’s immigration plans.
Another Virginia Republican, Rep. Barbara Comstock, as been at odds with Trump since the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. She has since turned into a regular Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy theorist.
Former Virginia Senator and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli led a roll-call vote chant at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016 in an attempt to block Trump from being nominated as GOP presidential candidate.
Freitas is a seeming supporter of Cuccinelli, evidenced by his Twitter account:
— Nick Freitas (@NickFreitasVA) November 3, 2013
In case the theme is not clear, Virginia politics is awash in NeverTrump-ism, and the establishment shills fighting against Corey Stewart, a popular, grassroots, day-one Trump supporter is simply the latest development.