Senate GOP campaign arm clashes with Republican Meijer over Michigan Senate bid

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The Senate GOP’s campaign arm is clashing with former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) over his bid for an open Senate seat in Michigan.

Meijer, who lost his House seat last cycle to a Trump-backed challenger over his vote to impeach the former president, announced he was running for retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) seat.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has courted former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) to enter the race, and it quickly sought to throw cold water on Meijer’s bid by saying he couldn’t win a GOP primary or bring out the base to win a general election.

“Peter Meijer isn’t viable in a primary election, and there’s worry that if Meijer were nominated, the base would not be enthused in the general election,” NRSC Executive Director Jason Thielman said in a statement.

Meijer’s campaign quickly hit back at the NRSC, with his campaign saying in a statement to The Hill: “Not surprised that DC Republicans prefer someone who won’t rock the boat and will do as he’s told. That’s not me.”

“Call me old-fashioned, but I care more about what Michigan voters think. NRSC admits on background that they’d prefer a centrist … and that’s fine. That’s not me either. I’m a constitutionalist conservative,” the statement added.

The clash signals a potentially messy GOP primary as the NRSC changes its approach and gets involved in Republican primaries after largely staying out of them in the last political cycle. The Michigan GOP Senate race already includes former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, among other contenders.

Meijer is one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Despite that vote, however, Meijer said in an interview shortly after his announcement he would back whoever is the Republican nominee for president. Trump is leading in polls for the GOP’s 2024 nomination.

“I stand by it,” Meijer said on “The Steve Gruber Show” on Monday, when asked about his vote. “My regret is that we had to have the vote in the first place. Now, obviously I regret not being in the 118th Congress where we actually had a Republican majority and could move forward to have that same degree of accountability brought toward President Biden, who has done far greater things to bring disgrace to that office.”

“When it comes to 2024, I’m going to support the Republican nominee, and that’s going to make a lot of the Lincoln Project and Never Trump folks very, very unhappy. But I will support that Republican nominee because we need to make Joe Biden a one-term president,” he added.

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