By Paul Gable
Donald Trump, the man who promised as president to go to Washington and ‘Drain the Swamp’, has instead jumped right into the middle of the SC 7th Congressional District swamp by endorsing Russell Fry for Congress.
Trump apparently made this endorsement without ever meeting any of the candidates. It was evidently enough that a few establishment politicians like Gov. Henry McMaster and GOP Chairman Drew McKissick, RINO’s to most South Carolinians, spoke up for Fry. The swamp also had former candidate and carpetbagger Graham Allen ready to immediately chime right in on Fry’s behalf.
It was a neatly staged production to get Fry the endorsement, but it didn’t work with most voters. The true conservative base and most MAGA devotees in the 7th District immediately took to social media to express their dismay that Trump would endorse Fry.
One popular post shared numerous times read, “I stand with Trump but not this time. No to Fry.”
When is Fry going to stand up and publicly declare he agrees with Trump that the 2020 presidential election was stolen? And when is Fry going to publicly agree with Trump that Lindsey Graham is truly a RINO?
When is local Red Hat leader Don Bowne going to publicly demand Fry stand with Trump and make those declarations?
Fry will gain a few votes from those who allow Trump do their thinking for them, those who would immediately book tickets to Jonestown and drink the Kool Aid if Trump told them to. But they are a very limited group in the 7th Congressional District.
Fry’s campaign tried to stem the criticism with a statement that voters would come to see Fry was the only true conservative opposing Rice.
Fry’s campaign manager obviously does not know the 7th Congressional District voters any better than Trump or Allen. The voters know Fry is not a conservative, but just another career politician who listens to special interests like the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and its Interstate 73 boondoggle.
It’s no mistake that Fry was on stage with McMaster, Congressman Tom Rice (who Trump supposedly wants to replace), Chamber CEO Karen Riordan and others in the local swamp at the October 2021 press conference the Chamber held on I-73 financing and the money from local governments that would be required.
It’s no mistake that Fry co-sponsored a bill with former Rep. Alan Clemmons and Rep. Heather Crawford that would have forced the Horry County to dedicate all of its hospitality fee revenue to finance I-73 rather than be able to spend it on local infrastructure and other expenses caused by tourists.
Where was Fry’s conservatism when he was one of the main supporters of the large gas tax increase the General Assembly passed a few years ago?
Where is Fry’s conservatism when he remains silent about the college investigation sexual misconduct finding which caused fellow establishment politician and business partner Cam Crawford to be fired from publicly funded Coastal Carolina University, an incident that was kept secret from CCU board members for almost two years?
One conservative activist in the area commented on the endorsement, “Trump is messing about in local politics and he shouldn’t because he doesn’t know much about local politics.”
Local conservative activist Chad Caton, a huge supporter of the former president, said Fry is Rice’s political son. Many others call Fry ‘Rice 2.0.’ The local conservative voters know Fry’s political history. They know Fry’s connections to the Chamber and other special interests and that it took Fry eight months before he criticized Rice’s vote to impeach President Trump.
The backlash in the 7th Congressional District against the Trump endorsement of Fry mirrors that of Tennessee conservatives toward another Trump endorsement in one of the Tennessee Congressional districts. Quite simply, Trump is getting bad advice on which candidates to endorse.
Maybe the Chamber and its cabal cronies think Trump’s endorsement of Fry now guarantees that Rice and Fry will go to a runoff in the upcoming Republican Congressional primary. Maybe the cabal feels it can’t lose because the winner will come from one of its two swamp candidates.
Maybe the Chamber and its cabal cronies are in for a huge surprise because it’s the voters who decide primaries, not endorsements, money or political spin. And the overwhelming majority of voters aren’t fooled by Fry or his campaign. They know him as a career politician and a RINO member of the political establishment who serves special interests.
The voters are tired of career politicians who only think of the voters at election time and kow tow to special interests the rest of the time.
School Board Chairman and Rice challenger Ken Richardson was asked by Steve Bannon, during an appearance by Richardson on the War Room earlier this week, how South Carolina keeps sending the ‘happy talk’ establishment politicians like Lindsey Graham, Tom Rice and Trey Gowdy to Washington.
Richardson said it was because they are establishment politicians and he has learned from the over 100 groups he has spoken to since he began his campaign last year is “the people are tired of it. The people want a change.”
The Trump endorsement is not going to be the slam dunk the Fry campaign thinks it is.
The special interests and insider establishment politicians protect and support each other especially with targeted use of campaign funding and endorsements. However, the voters are tired of that act and not so quick to believe that spin anymore.