Path 2

Friday, Jun 30 2023

ICYMI: KY GOP Rep. Thomas Massie Slams Gov Nominee Daniel Cameron for Plan to Attend Freedom Fest

Jun 30, 2023

In a week where Daniel Cameron was wrapped up in a clear conflict of interest, his fellow Kentucky Republican, Congressman Thomas Massie, blasted him for attending “Freedom Fest,” an event put on by failed GOP gubernatorial candidate and disgraced lawyer Eric Deters. Event attendees include Donald Trump as well as other conspiracy theorists, a convicted criminal, and a literal insurrectionist.

Key Points:

The Courier JournalMassie rips Daniel Cameron for plan to attend Eric Deters’ ‘Freedom Fest’ rally

  • GOP gubernatorial nominee Daniel Cameron’s plan to attend a Northern Kentucky rally of political speakers in September is drawing some fire from other Republicans in the region, including U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie.
  • “Whoever is advising Daniel Cameron to attend is guilty of political malpractice,” said Massie, a six-term congressman, in a statement to The Courier Journal.
  • A campaign spokesperson for Cameron indicated this week that while his schedule is still being finalized, the attorney general plans to attend “Freedom Fest,” the third annual political event hosted by Eric Deters, who placed fourth in the May GOP primary for governor with nearly 6% of the vote.
  • According to Deters, Cameron will appear as a “special guest” at the rally, which is to be headlined by former President Donald Trump — who provided a key endorsement of Cameron in the primary — and is to feature speeches from Trump’s two adult sons and other national conservative figures.
  • But Deters also recently said he is 99% sure he will enter the primary against Massie next year, indicating he will announce that candidacy at the same Freedom Fest Fest rally in September, which is hosted at his Kenton County farm.
  • With Cameron hoping to unite Kentucky Republicans this summer for his general election run against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, his decision to participate in the event has drawn the ire of Massie — a frequent recipient of criticism from Deters.
  • “Why would a guy who has a good chance to be governor — the attorney general, the chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth — appear at an event organized by a man who lost his license to practice law in multiple states, who has a restraining order against him, who has been arrested for contempt, and who recently pled guilty to three charges of harassing and menacing?” Massie said.
  • Deters has been a magnet for controversy in recent years, having his law license revoked and pleading guilty to charges in March stemming from chasing his nephew in a truck at his farm after he was flipped off.
  • Deters spent nearly $700,000 of his own money in his race for governor. He took up much of the airspace in the only televised debate featuring the major GOP primary candidates on KET, including his harsh criticism of eventual third-place finisher Kelly Craft.
  • Deters, who regularly posts bombastic YouTube videos blasting Kentucky politicians and media, said he was likely taking on Massie due to his two recent votes — against the censure of U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff and for the raising of the nation’s debt ceiling.
  • Referring to Cameron’s planned attendance at Deters’ rally, Massie added that Beshear “will cash in on this unforced error as quickly as Hillary Clinton cashed the campaign contribution from the event organizer.”
  • While Deters’ primary campaign for governor touted himself as the true conservative and pro-Trump candidate, he endorsed Beshear in his 2019 run against GOP incumbent Matt Bevin and did contribute $1,000 to Clinton’s 2008 run for president.
  • While Deters backs Trump in the 2024 presidential race, Massie recently endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has emerged as the main GOP rival of Trump.
  • Cameron’s plan to attend the Deters rally also drew criticism from state Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, an ideological ally of Massie — and another frequent target of Deters’ criticism — who had also run for governor before dropping out of the race last year.
  • “I find it hard to believe that the Republican nominee for governor would attend a campaign launch event for someone who wants to defeat Congressman Thomas Massie, the most conservative and most popular congressman in Kentucky,” Maddox said.
  • “If Cameron is speaking at this event to fire up the base in Kentucky’s fourth congressional district, he will do just that, but not in the way he hopes.”
  • A spokesperson for Cameron did not immediately return a request for comment on the criticism from Massie and Maddox.
  • Polling from a Republican firm and Cameron’s campaign after the primary suggested he and Beshear are in a virtual tie.
  • A spokesman for Trump did not reply to emails and text messages this week asking to confirm he had agreed to attend Deters’ event in person.
  • Trump has had his own rollercoaster relationship with Massie, calling for him to be purged from the Republican Party in 2020 but then endorsing Massie in his 2022 primary.
  • Massie endorsed DeSantis in April, saying “America needs a leader who is decisive, respects the Constitution, understands policy, puts family first and leads by inspiring.”

Published: Jun 30, 2023 | Last Modified: Jul 5, 2023

Jump to Content