October 14, 2022

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah had an urgent message about his reelection for fellow Utahn Mitt Romney when he joined Fox News Tuesday night.

"Please, get on board. Help me win reelection," Lee told Fox News host Tucker Carlson. "Help us do that—you can get your entire family to donate to me."

Just a guess here that Lee's campaign isn't exactly firing on all cylinders a month out from Election Day. Lee is facing a challenge from independent Evan McMullin, a former CIA operations officer from 2001-2010. Democrats, instead of fielding their own candidate, opted to simply back McMullin's bid.

Romney, a pro-democracy Republican, has so far declined to endorse his Trump-loving coup-plotting counterpart, calling both Lee and McMullin "friends" and indicating he was inclined to stay neutral.

But Lee really laid it on thick Tuesday.

“It’s not too late, Mitt. You can join the party,” he said on Fox. “I’d welcome you to do so because otherwise you’d be stuck with two more years of Chuck Schumer being the leader and two more years of Joe Biden having unfettered rule over the United States Senate without any Republican backstop.”

The FiveThirtyEight aggregate puts Lee at a comfortable 7-point plus advantage, but a Deseret News poll released Monday gave Lee a 4-point edge, 41%-37%. Indeed, Lee sounded anything but comfortable during his Fox appearance, and a circling of the MAGA wagons followed his mortal cry.

Donald Trump issued a pretty standard harangue of a statement Wednesday in which he called Lee an "outstanding Senator who has been abused, in an unprecedented way, by a fellow Republican from his own State."

Trump said Lee had his "complete and total" endorsement, adding that McMullin (who he tagged "McMuffin") would "never" get it.

After McMullin sent a tweet Monday night stating that Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas had called him a "Mitt Romney Republican," Cruz vehemently denied it.

"You are lying. I did not call you a 'Romney Republican,'" Cruz tweeted Tuesday. "You are a Democrat."

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas chimed in with, "@tedcruz is right. McMullin is a Democrat, he's funded by Democrats, and he would be a rubber stamp for Joe Biden."

In reality, McMullin has pledged not to caucus with either party.

"I need to maintain my independence in order to represent this coalition I'm building — I've asked the Democrats to join me, I've asked Romney Republicans to join me, independents, the United Utah Party, and they are, they're joining this coalition," McMullin said in July.

But bottom line, the MAGA crowd is sounding a little edgy about Utah.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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