CNN anchor Boris Sanchez repeatedly asked the chairman of Maine’s Republican Party to explain why it was wrong for the state to disqualify Donald Trump from the ballot.
Last week, Maine’s Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) disqualified Trump from the ballot citing the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution and Maine’s state Constitution.
“The U.S. Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government. And Maine election law required me to act in response,” she said. “The events of January 6 were unprecedented and tragic. It was an assault not only on the Capitol and government officials, including the former vice president and members of Congress, but on the rule of law itself. … Mr. Trump engaged in that insurrection and thereby, is not qualified to be on the ballot.”
Republicans have slammed the ruling as politically motivated and claims Bellows was wrong to remove the former president and current GOP frontrunner from the ballot.
On Tuesday, Sanchez interviewed Maine’s GOP chair Joel Stetkis on CNN “News Central,” and asked him to explain why the decision was wrong, SEVEN times, according to a clip shared by Mediaite.
“I think the simplest way we could put this really is, you know, we’ve got an unelected bureaucrat who likes to pretend that she’s a lawyer, and she’s literally taking away the voters’ choices in Maine,” Stetkis responded after Sanchez asked the question the first time.”You know, here in Maine and across the country, regardless of, you know, whether they like Donald Trump or not, you know, Bellows is wrong on so many levels. And it’s, it’s getting to the point of really being embarrassing.”
Asked a second time why Bellows was wrong to disqualify Trump from the ballot, Stetkis responded, “her decision process was just wrong. You know, she’s there… uh… to… uh… To support, uh, Maine’s voter, Maine voting rights. And she’s doing exactly the opposite. You know, we’re going to fight this thing to the highest extent that we need to. And what she’s doing is just flat out wrong.”
“This has so much more to do… uh… with the… uh… you know, the suppression of the vote as opposed to Donald Trump,” Stetkis said on his third attempt. “We would, we would oppose this decision regardless of what Republican she decided that she was going to arbitrarily decide Maine voters aren’t going to be allowed to vote for.”
Sanchez kept asking for an explanation and Stetkis kept dodging the question. At one point he told Sanchez, “no matter how you ask the question, her decision is completely wrong.”
“Is there any detail you can give us other than saying she’s flat out wrong, Joel?” Sanchez tried a seventh and final time.
“So one of the things that we’ve seen in the last week are… are very highly respected lawyers and judges, Democrats and Republicans alike, that have come out and given plenty of legal argument on why that she’s wrong,” Stetkis answered. “You know, my job here is to protect the voters in the state of Maine, and what she is doing just shows absolute contempt for the everyday American. They feel like we’re not smart enough to think for themselves, that she needs to pull somebody off of the ballot because we’re not smart enough to know whether we should vote for that person or not. And that’s just flat out wrong.”
Sanchez eventually ended the interview telling Stetkis, “it doesn’t seem like you have articulated the exact legal argument and the flaw that you see in her decision.”