Longtime Republican communications operative Steve Schmidt broke up with the GOP over Twitter Wednesday, slamming the party as “indecent and immoral” and full of “feckless cowards.” Within hours, the longtime strategist’s mentions were inundated with messages by alt-right bots, spam, and trolls. Even Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham took a shot at him.
@steveschmidt…who are you? I have followed conservative politics since Reagan and have never heard of you! I expected the leftsit media to pick up your story of leaving the Republican party. Wolf if sheep's clothing. Go back to where you belong!
— Dean Reeves (@DeanReeves) June 21, 2018
@steveschmidt is a pos, & a trumpbasher & is a paid talking head @MSNBC so you know what this poser is going to say before he say's it. he would sell his soul to joe & mika just to watch them do threesomes with zoo animal's.
— James Betts (@James66Betts) June 11, 2018
Perpetually losing GOP “consultant” leaves GOP! Stop the presses! https://t.co/KzHE0Ikj8x
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) June 20, 2018
Frankly, Schmidt doesn’t give a damn. “I’m completely unintimidated,” he says. “We have a real crisis of leadership these days. We’re not a cowardly people, until recent days.”
First Scarborough, and now Schmidt. Looks like the GOP is not liberal enough for anyone working at MSNBC https://t.co/fsGIBQGziF
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) June 20, 2018
Brent Bozell, publisher of the conservative outlets NewsBusters and CNS News, joined the wave, lambasting Schmidt for his MSNBC contract. Schmidt says right-wingers like Ingraham and Bozell are “grifters akin to housing contractors ripping off little old ladies” who help perpetuate the “billion dollar anger industry” that he refuses to engage in or be enraged by.
Quoting American author Eric Hoffer, Schmidt took aim at the mouthy detractors on his feed: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. These guys [GOP] are in the racket business. What are they defending? Baby interment camps?”
The former George W. Bush and John McCain adviser stresses that the overwhelming response online and with Beltway folk has been positive. He says several conservative colleagues called to offer their support and expressed their wish to speak out, too, but opted to offer private solidarity because they have “bills to pay and children to feed.” He was also greeted with open arms from some on the left: Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, tweeted “Welcome, patriot”; Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, quickly echoed Dworkin’s praise:” Why don’t these folks think before they try to come for @SteveSchmidtSES? It never ends well for them. LOL.”
Schmidt appreciates the love from both sides of the political aisle and shows no sign of holding back his distaste for a party that’s coalesced around President Trump. In fact, he welcomes detractors to keep punching up.
“The entire electorate is scared to death of being trolled. It’s just disgraceful,” Schmidt said, adding with a laugh, “I wear it as a badge of honor. I don’t—and won’t—lose sleep.”