Rest easy, Arizona. Rep. Paul Gosar wants you to know he has a problem with white nationalists.
Disregard the fact that he has spoken to their America First Political Action Conference – twice – and even posed for pictures with their leader, Nick Fuentes, a guy who believes that America needs to protect its “white demographic core” and that the Holocaust was invented to make white people feel bad.
Disregard the fact that Gosar was working with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green last year to form an “America First Caucus,” apparently hoping to make America great again, one Anglo-Saxon at a time.
And the fact that just two months ago, Gosar was defending Fuentes, outraged that the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection would subpoena this “young conservative Christian”.
Now, suddenly, Gosar wants you to know he has a problem with Fuentes.
“Nick’s got a problem with his mouth,” Gosar told Politico on Friday.
Gosar has aided white nationalists for months
Actually, it’s not what comes out of Fuentes’ mouth that’s the problem. It’s always better to identify an infection, to call it out and see it for what is than to allow it to fester and spread, sight unseen.
It’s the actions of a certain Arizona congressman that are disgusting.
For well over a year, Gosar has given aid and comfort to Fuentes and his white nationalist movement.
“There is some hope, maybe, for America First in Congress,” Fuentes said last May. “And that is thanks to – almost exclusively – to Representative Paul Gosar.”
This thanks, from a guy who has defended segregation and proclaimed the 2017 “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesvilla, Va., – the one where a counter protester was run down and killed – “awesome”.
A guy who readily admits his goal is to grow his brand of white nationalism and antisemitism, moving it into the American mainstream as if it is something normal, as if it is something acceptable.
Gosar was pals with Fuentes in 2021
In the days leading up to his February 2021 America First Political Action Conference, Fuentes announced that there would be a special guest.
It’s not every day, after all – or at least, it didn’t used to be every day – that white nationalists could lure a sitting member of Congress to their stage, something they could promote to legitimize their movement.
Gosar gave the evening’s keynote speech, delivering his usual spiel about the outrage of immigration and Donald Trump’s loss.
“This,” he said, “is the era of America first.”
He was followed by Fuentes, who boasted about the Jan. 6 insurrection and warned that America needs to “protect its white demographic core”.
“White people founded this country,” Fuentes told the crowd. “This country wouldn’t exist without white people, and white people are done being bullied.”
Afterward, Fuentes and Gosar posed for pictures along with former Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican who in 2019 wondered aloud when the term “white supremacist” became offensive.
Then the next day, Gosar and Fuentes met for coffee.
He defended Fuentes earlier this year
A few months later, Gosar and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene were in the midst of creating an America First Caucus in Congress, though it fell apart once a seven-page draft report on their plan came to light.
The report waxed on about Anglo-Saxons, with enough dog whistles to make Bowser’s ears ring. Once it got out, Gosar denied he had written the document. Greene blamed it on the staff.
Fast forward to January when Gosar was horrified to learn that the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack subpoenaed Fuentes, to probe the level of his involvement and whether he was paid in Bitcoin to help instigate the insurrection.
“The phony January 6th Committee’s partisan witch-hunt continues as they have now set their sights on young conservative Christians like Nick Fuentes,” Gosar wrote, in a Jan. 24 post on Gab, a social media site that caters to the far right.
And to March when Gosar again spoke at Fuentes’ AFPAC, sending his remarks this year via video.
But after a year of silence, some Republicans at long last pronounced themselves horrified at Fuentes and at members of Congress who would pal around with him. This time, Fuentes had vomited out not just his usual spiel about downtrodden white people but also applauded Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Suddenly, at least some Republican leaders are scrambling to stand upwind of Fuentes. (Though not all. State Sen. Wendy Rogers still loves the guy.)
Now, Gosar says his March speech was an error?
Thus, Gosar’s remarks to Politico.
His speech to this year’s AFPAC conference? The staff’s fault, he says. It was supposed to go to the Conservative Political Action Conference, not the America First Political Action Conference.
“We're kind of short-handed,” Gosar told Politico. “And there was miscommunication.”
His ties to Fuentes’ white nationalist group?
Gosar “didn’t know anything about the group” or Fuentes before speaking at the conference in February 2021, he says.
“The young people that were being misled by somebody – we should be trying to mentor, trying to change them. I’ve given up … on dealing with Nick,” Gosar said. “Nick’s got a problem with his mouth.”
Actually, Arizona’s got a problem with its representation.
The problem isn't Fuentes' mouth. It's Gosar's
It’s been well over a year since Gosar keynoted a conference organized by a guy who both the Justice Department and Anti-Defamation League have labeled a white supremacist.
A year since Gosar was presented with – and his party was presented with – a grade A opportunity to proclaim that the Holocaust deniers and Confederate flag carriers and white nationalists who laid siege to the nation’s Capitol will not similarly run riot over the Republican Party.
Instead, the silence has been deafening as Gosar became an all-too-willing ally in their quest to normalize their vile and disgusting views.
The problem isn’t what comes out of Fuentes’ mouth. It’s what hasn’t come out of the mouths of Gosar and his hard-right friends in Congress.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Rep. Paul Gosar finally has a problem with Nick Fuentes?