Republican Mara Macie, who is running for Rep. John Rutherford’s (R-FL) seat, told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday that she is ready for any establishment candidate she may face in the Republican primary, saying her opponent is not “Rutherford in particular – it is the establishment uniparty machine.”
Rutherford, who represents Florida’s Fifth Congressional District, was one of the House Republicans who broke with the rest of the Republican House conference during the speakership vote for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in October. He and 19 other Republicans blocked Jordan from getting to the 217 votes he needed on one ballot and went against him on other ballots despite a hard push from the grassroots against what Breitbart News Saturday host and Breitbart News Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle refers to as the group of “intransigents.”
Now, several of these members have announced they will not run for reelection amid feelings of betrayal among the grassroots, while challengers are starting to line up against others, like Rutherford, who have not yet announced whether they will run for another term.
Macie, who is co-owner of a golf management business along with her siblings and is the wife of a Naval officer, told Breitbart News that during the speakership battle, many constituents in Florida’s Fifth Congressional District “were calling him over those speakership votes and asking him to vote for Jordan – to do what they wanted him to do.”
“And then people call him weekly, and I hear about this constantly, that he will not return their calls, he will not do what they asked, so that is, that is a continuous message that he is sending back to his voters is that he is not going to represent them,” she added.
Regarding potentially squaring off with Rutherford in a primary, she said his team “has been adamant every time we’ve asked him that he is running again,” but county insiders say otherwise.
“But I will tell you this: Amongst the Duval GOP insiders, we have been hearing he’s not running, so I don’t know whether or not they’ve said that to him because, let’s be honest, they’re all kind of run by the same political network here in Florida, so I don’t know what they’re telling him,” she continued. “But what the Duval GOP, that’s Jacksonville, what they’re putting out there is that Rutherford is not running again.”
Regardless of whom she faces, Macie expects to compete with a candidate from the “establishment uni-party machine.”
“My opponent isn’t John Rutherford in particular – it is the establishment uniparty machine, so it doesn’t matter who they pop in there,” Macie told Boyle, one of Rutherford’s constituents and staunchest critics. “I’ve seen what they do throughout the state in terms of getting their candidate to win. So what they’ll do, you get ghost candidates. They’ll tell a grassroots candidate, ‘Listen, we think you’re a great candidate. Let us help you out.’ And really, they’re just throwing in that person to siphon away votes. We saw it in our own mayoral election here, and we ended up with a Democrat mayor because of it.”
Macie and Boyle also discussed the now-closed ethics investigation into Rutherford that began in June 2022 and ended in August of that year, which involved a failure to disclose stock trades. In one of the trades, Rutherford purchased Raytheon stock on the day that Russia invaded Ukraine.
Boyle wondered how the Ethics Committee “magically cleared” Rutherford, who reportedly paid thousands of dollars in fines, and suggested to Macie that members of the establishment were “protecting their own.”
“That’s something I call good cop, bad cop,” she explained. “So it doesn’t matter if it’s the RINOs or if it’s the Democrats versus the RINOs, they’re all going to protect each other to an extent, because they’re all guilty of something that they don’t want the public to know about. So, when you’re talking about the investigation not really coming to a conclusion that we all would have held them to, that’s because they know that they need that same protection. They want to make the other party or their opponent look bad because, at the end of the day… they need that person to point out and say, ‘If you don’t vote for me, you’re going to get them instead.’”
“So whether it’s the grassroots versus the establishment, or whether it’s the right versus the left, they use each other,” she added. “Basically, we say what’s true, but the establishment will make up things about the grassroots and say, ‘You don’t want that person; they’re the opposite of what they actually are.’ They tend to tell people that the grassroots conservatives are liberals and that they’re going to support the Democrats, and really, that’s what they’re doing. They’re just as hypocritical as the liberals out there.”
Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.