Could Jody Hice, a congressional candidate in Georgia, hurt Republicans this fall?
Michael Graham thinks so:
Rev. Jody Hice, a radio talk show host (!) just won the runoff in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 10th Congressional district.
The vast majority of Republicans outside the Peach State have never heard of him. Then again, until the summer of 2012, nobody had heard of Missouri’s Todd Akin, either.
Then Akin started talking about “legitimate rape” and “women’s bodies just shut down,” and suddenly every Republican in a swing district or purple state was being asked about their fellow Republican.
Cue Rev. Hice!
Hice’s comments on women running for elected office got him noticed during the primary campaign:
”If the woman’s within the authority of her husband, I don’t see a problem,” Dr. Jody Hice of the Bethlehem First Baptist church in Barrow County said of women in positions of political power.
Graham also points to Hice’s comments about Islam:
Radio talk show host Jody Hice told members of the Coweta Tea Party that Islam, in its most complete form, isn’t deserving of First Amendment protections because it is not just a religion.
“When you talk about Islam, you are talking about totalitarian way of life. You are not talking simply about a religion,” Hice said.
Instead, it is “a totalitarian geopolitical system that has everything within it. It has its own financial system, it has its own military, it has its own government, and — yes — it also has its own religious component,” Hice said at Tuesday’s tea party meeting.
“The whole picture of Islam is not just a religion. It is an entire massive geopolitical system,” Hice said, and “its intent is to take over the world, to dominate the world.”
Graham also points to other controversial comments made by Hice.
The Hobby Lobby story has made it obvious Democrats plan to make 2014 about the “War on Women” as much as they possibly can. They’re going to target suburban women who can’t imagine being told they must live “within the authority of their husbands.” (Neither can their husbands, by the way). Democrats are thrilled that Rev. Hice will be running in November. They’re cheering him on!
What makes this even more aggravating for Republicans trying to repair the party’s brand is that Hice’s runoff opponent, Mike Collins, is a conservative Republican. When it comes to actually casting votes, he’d have voted the same way as Hice at least 95% of the time.
But without the off-putting rhetoric and over-the-top statements.
Why did prominent GA Republicans who should know better back this guy? What were they thinking?
When September rolls around and Hice’s comments are all over the media, I hope somebody remembers to ask them.
Besides outgoing Rep. Paul Broun (who lost in the U.S. Senate primary), Erick Erickson of RedState endorsed Hice:
I spoke this past weekend at a fundraiser for Jody Hice. I am supporting Jody and, luckily, the largest part of population in his district lies within my listening audience’s reach in Atlanta. I am happy to encourage people to support him.
I am proud to support him.
I generally have had the attitude in the case of candidates like Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell, and Richard Mourdock that their primary opposition must have run pretty shoddy campaigns to get beat by them. That makes me wonder what they would have done in November in general elections had they defeat candidates who were considered “nutty.”
With that being said, national Democrats will try to make Hice the poster child for their continuing “War on Women” theme against Republicans. Whether Hice wins his general election or not, his name will be invoked in NARAL, Planned Parenthood, DCCC, DNC , and other groups’ fundraising emails across the country. Also look for Michelle Nunn to try to tie Hice to David Perdue in the U.S. Senate race in Georgia.
Todd Akin has recently re-inserted himself into the news cycle pushing his new books and doubling down on his remarks from before, so he will still occupy some of the attention by the Democrats this year for a bit. However, Hice will still be around to talk about into the fall elections.
It doesn’t matter what you think of Hice or what I think of Hice (if you have to pigeonhole me, I’m a social conservative.) These tactics will almost certainly be used, depending on how desperate Democrats get. I respect the Republican voters of the district’s choice for their nominee, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be used as whipping boy by national Democrats in the fall campaign. It will remain to be seen if those tactics work or if people are tired of them. They may be effective in limited situations if not nationally. I’m just pointing out what to me, and some others, is pretty obvious.
Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments. I welcome your input.