INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun gave a bizarre, rambling answer Monday in his first response to a question about why he lied about not self-funding in the general election. After digesting it, we felt the need to pull it apart, sentence by sentence, to give you the five most bizarre lines from his answer.
Rep. Braun sat down for an interview with conservative commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz after addressing the Indiana Ag Policy Summit Monday afternoon, more than 12 hours after the Indy Star revealed that despite claiming he would not self-fund in the general election and had not done so thus far, Rep. Braun had loaned his campaign more than $350K post-primary. Yet despite plenty of time to prepare, Rep. Braun appeared to be caught off-guard. Instead of simply apologizing for lying to Hoosiers about his fundraising for months, he gave a rambling, 80-second answer that ran through a mix of falsehoods, excuses, and utter nonsense.
Here (in chronological order) are his five most nonsensical quotes from his answer to the question about the Star report:
Statement 1: “[Democrats] get busted on that a lot, like trying to attack my business or how I finance my campaign.”
Explanation: If he’s tired of talking about his business, Rep. Braun should stop falsely claiming that his business is “made in America” after multiple reports have shown that he made $18 million in profits last year as the head of a company that sells cheap Chinese auto parts. And Rep. Braun isn’t getting attacked for how he financed his campaign – it’s for spending months lying to Hoosiers.
Statement 2: “Well news is, you come from the outside, nobody is going to write you a check.”
Explanation: Plenty of candidates without political experience have found fundraising success – just not Rep. Braun. This is simply an excuse for Rep. Braun’s woeful fundraising after he could only raise $1.4 million over three months despite help from Vice President Pence and Mitch McConnell, as well as multiple out-of-state fundraisers in Washington, D.C. and Beverly Hills.
Statement 3: “That independence of having my own money in there, my own skin in the game, was liberating in the sense that I could take on a lot of sacred cows in the whole.”
Explanation: If that’s truly the case, then why did Rep. Braun hold more out-of-state fundraising events in Washington, D.C. in June than public events in Indiana? Or is Rep. Braun simply trying to pretend that he enjoys spending his own money as a way to cover up for his woeful fundraising?
Statement 4: “And what we did fundraise outside of the little I put in, percentage wise, and some of that in the quarter was done in the primary, not in the portions since the primary.”
Explanation: Math lesson: in this quarter alone, Rep. Braun raised $1.4 million, loaned himself nearly $1 million, and loaned himself roughly $350K after the primary. That means he loaned himself two-thirds as much as he raised. The only people who think that’s a “little” percentage are those who think $11 is “nearly” double a $7.25 minimum wage.
Statement 5: “I think second-best quarter, next to maybe Rick Scott in Florida.”
Explanation: Nope. Rep. Braun didn’t even outraise his opponent in Indiana. On top of that, his fellow GOP Senate candidates in Missouri, Tennessee, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio and, yes, Florida all outraised him.
BONUS Explanation: The only other Republican Senate candidate who tried hiding the fact that he loaned himself millions of dollars during the second quarter, according to Roll Call? Rick Scott, in Florida.
“Rep. Braun hasn’t figured out a good way to spin his blatant lies – but stacking more exaggerations and falsehoods on top of it all simply isn’t the way to do it,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Anyone who listens to Rep. Braun try and answer this straightforward question that anyone could have seen coming can tell that this is a man willing to say anything to get elected. He simply cannot own up to the fact that he’s been lying to Hoosiers for months.”
A full transcript of Rep. Braun’s response is available HERE.