President Donald Trump waded into the race to replace former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) in California’s 25th district on Thursday, slamming Democrat Christy Smith for mocking Republican Mike Garcia’s Navy service.
Vote @MikeGarcia2020 by May 12th! His opponent @ChristyforCA25 voted to fire teachers, and cut their salaries while bumping up her pay. Now she’s mocking our Great Vets! We need Navy Fighter Pilot Mike Garcia in #CA25! https://t.co/MEnGMvl8it
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2020
Smith, a state legislator, will face off against Garcia, a retired Navy pilot, in a May 12 special election to fill the seat vacated by Hill last year after revelations that she had carried on an affair with a woman in her campaign.
As Betty Arenson recounted in the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the local newspaper:
Smith spoke sarcastically while laughing on the topic of opponent Mike Garcia being a “pilot.” She mockingly stated, “Did you guys know he was a pilot? … That escaped me…”
“I texted my team, and I’m like, ‘OK, he’s got pictures of planes behind him. I’ve got constitutional law books — the irony.”
Republicans produced an ad featuring the footage of Smith’s insult — and footage of Garcia’s Navy service:
Smith apologized in a tweet several days later, noting that she had great respect for Garcia’s military service:
— Christy Smith (@ChristyforCA25) April 29, 2020
She responded to Trump’s attack on Thursday evening by calling Garcia a “mini” version of Trump”:
Donald Trump has lied to the American people over 18,000 times. Now he's lying about me and my record. I'm the Democrat running against this mini version of Trump. Follow us, join our campaign, retweet, and please make a contribution here: https://t.co/xnGjtsDtTV
— Christy Smith (@ChristyforCA25) May 1, 2020
She tweeted several times after that, attempting to dispute Trump’s claims about her record on teachers’ issues. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) fired back (original link): “Christy Smith even acknowledged that she reduced teacher and support staff pay in a Zoom town hall earlier this month while somehow simultaneously trying to deny she ever did so. Smith voted to lay off almost 200 teachers and support staff between 2012 and 2018.”
The California Republican Party is attempting to convince Gov. Gavin Newsom to cancel “ballot harvesting,” a controversial practice that favors Democrats, due to the risk that party operatives gathering mail-in ballots would violate social distancing requirements by going door to door.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.