Michigan Democratic State Central Committee

06/07/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/07/2024 15:38

Senate Showdown: “Divisive” GOP “Primary Battle” Heats Up, “Disingenuous” Rogers Under Fire for Making Millions Working with Chinese Telecoms

LANSING - Mike Rogers has been given glowing reviews by his own party during his campaign: "disingenuous," "liar," "compromised," and "chicken." The Michigan GOP Senate Showdown is getting nastier, and the infighting has "already changed the dynamic of an election." Pensler is "pump[ing] lots of his own money into the race" and being "on the attack against Rogers, especially in TV ads" and Amash is bashing Rogers for not having "the 'organic' grassroots support that he does."

Meanwhile, voters are suspicious of Rogers who "has been compromised by the millions he has made since leaving Congress in 2015 working with corporations, including some foreign-based companies." And that's just the tip of the iceberg from this week in the "divisive" GOP primary.

Here's the latest on the GOP Senate "primary battle:"

See for yourself:

MIRS Monday Podcast: Pensler: "…Disingenuous. I have to use the word, he's a liar. And it is sort of similar of how he has dealt with 'Oh I really lived in Michigan. I don't live in Florida.' And then it came out that he's still voting and has a house in Florida. 'Oh I hate all these people dealing with Chinese telecoms.' Then it came out that he'd gotten several million from joint ventures with Chinese telecoms. It's a continuing pattern."

Local Live:Pensler: "After Congress, he's been taking money from Chinese joint ventures in areas that he said it was terrible, and American companies should steer clear of Chinese joint ventures. His record's terrible and he doesn't want it exposed."

Detroit Free Press: …Rogers tries to fend off rivals in US Senate race

  • Some readers take issue with that presumption… Others argue that [Rogers] really still lives in Florida - though he's registered to drive and vote in Michigan - and has been compromised by the millions he has made since leaving Congress in 2015 working with corporations, including some foreign-based companies, especially as a cybersecurity expert.
  • Rogers, who lives in Brighton, is facing a somewhat harder task, however. Amash, who served five terms in Congress, denounces Rogers as a member of the bureaucratic "deep state" Trump says he wants to wipe out; Pensler is a multimillionaire who has pumped lots of his own money into the race and has been on the attack against Rogers, especially in TV ads.
  • "Slightly more interesting," than the Democratic race, is how David Dulio, a political science professor and director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Oakland University in Rochester, put it. "Sandy Pensler is doing what he can to make Mike Rogers work for it…"
  • But his attacks on the front-runner have already changed the dynamic of an election nearly two months away: It's got Rogers playing keep-away…
  • Rogers served in the House from 2001 to 2015 and is a staunch conservative… He opposed abortion rights… He voted against the Affordable Care Act and for its repeal.
  • Asked about the 2020 election and Trump's efforts to overturn it, Rogers showed no interest in discussing it, telling the Free Press editorial board, "Looking back is not going to help us one little bit."
  • "I've never felt more confident about winning a race," Amash said… And he says Rogers doesn't have the "organic" grassroots support that he does.
  • "It's not close who is considered more conservative," Amash added. "I run the table on him on every issue."

Local Live: Pensler: "We're going to continue to call [Rogers] out for what he is, both a liar and a chicken."

X Post:Sandy Pensler: "On every single issue, Mike Rogers says one thing and does another. Whether it is about where Mike Rogers lives, Rogers' opinion of Donald Trump, Rogers' partnerships with companies that partner with Huawei, Mike Rogers says one thing and does another!"

Fox News: Balance of Power: Messy GOP primaries could boost Democrats in swing state races

  • …Crowded primary races in top swing states could hurt the party's attempts to capture key Senate seats, according to some experts.
  • "Campaign lore would suggest that any 'divisive primary' is going to advantage the other party at the polls in the general," said Jacob Neiheisel, an associate professor of political science at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
  • …Michigan, which won't see its primary elections until August, the Republican fields ended up being relatively large…
  • However, this hasn't stopped wealthy businessman Sandy Pensler, who is endorsed by former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, from continuing his bid. Former Rep. Justin Amash is also running for the nomination.
  • …Michigan Republican strategist Jason Cabel Roe pointed out that "it only gives him three months to ramp up the general election campaign."
  • "And if [Rogers] has to continue to wage an actual primary battle against Amash and Pensler, he's probably going to finish the primary with no money in the bank and have to replenish it," he added.
  • "That becomes a much more expensive race for Rogers and for the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] and the Senate Leadership Fund," he added.
  • As it stands, the Republican strategist thinks Pensler and Amash "are sand in Rogers' gears in trying to build a campaign…"
  • In his own statement, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) spokesperson Tommy Garcia said, "Senate Republicans' roster of recruits is reeling from a series of reports uncovering their lies about their biographies, vulnerabilities tied to their finances and a lifetime of toxic statements and policy positions.
  • "Meanwhile, their primaries in states like Nevada and Michigan are erupting in chaos. The NRSC's big bet to back a bunch of unvetted carpetbaggers is looking worse by the day."

MIRS Monday Podcast: Pensler: "But the numbers are now moving against [Rogers], and I think he's going to have to discuss with the people of Michigan his policies and his positions, or he'll lose."

MIRS Monday Podcast: Pensler: "And frankly, we took a good, hard look at it. To see if A) there was a credible pathway to win. And B) frankly, if I thought Mike Rogers would be a good senator. And I think we came up in both cases that there is a credible pathway to win. I think there's one for me. I don't know that there's one for Mike to win."

The Daily Beast: "[Rogers'] GOP opponent, investor Sandy Pensler, could give him a headache given his ability to self-fund and his neater alignment with Trump."

MIRS: Pensler Internal Showing Him Doing Much Better

  • An internal poll conducted by Decider Strategies, owned by Pensler consultant Stu SANDLER, shows that his campaign's ads against Rogers are working. The May 25-26 poll of 464 likely Republican Michigan primary voters shows Rogers at 20%, Pensler at 13%, Amash at 7% and O'Donnell at 3%. The 57% majority of voters are still undecided.