As eight Republican presidential candidates take the debate stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this week, there’s a lot of things they should be talking about.
One of those things? How in the hell America – a nation which is already $32.7 trillion in the hole – plans on paying for a projected $29 trillion in new Social Security and Medicaid spending over the coming decade (on top of its soaring non-entitlement profligacy).
Two of the candidates on the stage – Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley – are actually talking about this problem. Or at least talking about talking about this problem. That’s not exactly super reassuring for those of you who care about the sustainability of the Republic, but it is better than former U.S. president Donald Trump – who has been content to bury his head in the sand on fiscal matters and continue kicking the can down the road during this campaign (like he did as president).
Trump needs to answer for that given his status as the presumptive GOP nominee.
Haley and DeSantis have things they need to answer for, too … like Haley’s husband being involved with a shady defense subcontractor. Or DeSantis’ secretive campaign financing.
But there’s one campaign finance “scandal” that hopefully won’t absorb important time on the stage in Milwaukee. I’m referring to the so-called “DeStripper Disaster,” a controversy being pushed by Trump backer Laura Loomer.
The gist of this “scandal?” That DeSantis campaign bundler Brooke Waltzer – a Florida real estate tycoon and wife of Sunshine State banker Rich Waltzer (another major DeSantis bundler) – hangs out with strippers. And may “swing” with her husband from time to time.
Loomer tweeted a video about the Waltzers last month that got the far right MAGA movement up in arms against DeSantis – and which was circulated to this news outlet by several Trump supporters in early-voting (and disproportionately evangelical) South Carolina.
“It appears that Brooke worked for/ or works for Vixens Cabaret, a South Florida Strip club that she and her husband Rich Waltzer appear to frequent,” Loomer noted.
She then proceeded to juxtapose the strip club video – which included some obscene language – with the Waltzers’ appearance at DeSantis’ campaign kickoff at the Four Seasons in Miami as well a private donor retreat in Deer Valley, Utah last month.
“I hope nobody got dripped on!” she joked.
Loomer also revealed that the Waltzers’ allegedly participated in a “Groove Cruise” – an event which is marketed to swinging couples.
While “DeStripper-gate” or “DeSwinger-gate” (we’ve heard both) was gift-wrapped and sent to numerous Palmetto State media outlets – including several in the social conservative Upstate region of South Carolina – few mainstream media outlets touched it. It did, however, get picked up by a ton of national conservative sites.
The goal of the leak? To turn Christian voters against DeSantis – presumably an attempt to counter efforts by other candidates to sway them against Trump.
In fact, Loomer stated as much …
“How does Ron expect to get the evangelical vote when this is who is in his inner campaign circle?” she mused.
Loomer also demanded to know whether DeSantis, his wife or “any member of his senior staff know about the explicit sexual nature of the Waltzer’s activities … and, if no(t), why not? Do they not have a vetting process?”
(Click to view)
By way of a necessary reminder, Loomer is endorsing a politician who once said his approach to beautiful women was to “grab ’em by the pussy.” A candidate who allegedly paid off multiple porn stars in the weeks before the 2016 election (conduct which has since resulted in a criminal indictment against him).
And while I’m not weighing in on the Manhattan district attorney’s case against Trump (frankly, I think it’s very thin), is Loomer serious when she suggests DeSantis’ credibility deserves to be impeached on these grounds?
Has her candidate not done far worse? And again, in the case of Trump, we are talking about the individual himself. Not a donor. Not a bundler. Not a “connection.” Not someone in the “inner circle.” Him. Personally.
Is Loomer seriously so cognitively dissonant she doesn’t get that? Or … doesn’t think others are going to get that? Or … like so many in the marketplace of ideas these days, maybe she just doesn’t care.
Whatever the case, in the event this “scandal” rears its ugly head on the debate stage tonight (or off-stage as Trump sits down with Tucker Carlson), know this: These allegations say more about the ones leveling them than they do about their intended target.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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