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NEW YORK, NY – Born and raised in New York City in the borough of Queens, and still currently a resident of Queens County, soon to become a Nassau County resident, 33 year old George Santos is a first generation born American with parents from Puerto Rico. He is also LGBT.
Most importantly, it’s not about checking intersectional boxes but George’s fresh perspective on culture and politics signals an urban renaissance for the GOP where a new coalition of minorities is rising. This was evidenced in the last presidential election when Donald Trump, despite losing nationally, improved as much as 23 points in Miami Dade and has converted much of solid blue Hispanic West and South Texas to red.
Here are some highlights from my chat with George.
On His Background
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Citing his parents’ immigrant struggles as an experience, George says he’s a big believer in education. With advanced education, he was able to enter private equity working in finance, thanks also to the fact that he is trilingual. “I was able to interject myself into one of the largest mergers and acquisitions of our lifetime, which was the Heinz group, when they decided to sell to the Japanese Brazilian company Yoki. I was the only person they can reach that actually had some experience in M&A that spoke fluent Portuguese, fluent English.”
On New York State Redistricting, Currently In The Courts
“It violates the state constitution and the Voting Rights Act. There’s no question about that. My district is the scapegoat essentially for all the major lawsuits because it was the most grotesquely gerrymandered district in the state. You got me from a landmass of [Long Island]. Instead of extending me into Queens, which geographically speaking, is attached to Long Island, they chose to rat trail me from Long Island all the way up into Westchester County. And the problem with that is, on the state constitution, it states that districts will be drawn in landmasses. contiguously unless it is a peninsula.”
On The VRA and Partisan Gerrymandering
“You can’t disenfranchise communities. [My] district is a very affluent area, and is heavily Caucasian, not by design or by gerrymandering, where that is the predominant race. And when you’re drawing this district and carving it up into communities, like Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, where there is a population of African Americans that are currently in a district where they are the majority, that’s taking them out of that district, diluting their representation and putting them in a super minority district. That is voter disenfranchisement. I’m advocating for those people.”
On Urban Values & Connecting With Blue Voters
“I want to be humble and accept this as a difficult task. But I will win this district in 2022. I’ve put the work in. I understand what the people need and what they want, and what their issues are. The most important thing is that the sentiment of the public is not with [the left]. They’re not anti-police. They are not pro-criminal. And the messaging that the Democrat Party has been sending here in New York has been all pro-criminal pro-bail reform, and it’s absolutely out of touch with the constituency. And to add insult to injury, we have Joe Biden, who is the most aggressive Republican operative in the history of politics.”
Supporting President Trump
“I’ve always been a very big supporter of President Trump, and I’ve never shied away from that, To call a spade a spade, he was the most consequentially beneficial president, based on his policies, this country has seen in a very long time. To dismiss that is just plain arrogance and negligence. What happened during the Trump presidency was the mainstream media, I call them the communications branch of the Democratic Party, were on an outright assault against President Trump. Nothing the man did [was good enough], he could do no good. This man created probably the most effective commission and operation in the history of this country, which was Operation Warp Speed. He delivered a vaccine in record time, he pushed labs and hospitals to accommodate to fight COVID, a pandemic plagued on us by a foreign nation. Something that we refuse to acknowledge today, President Trump was leading the charge.”
Suburban Trends Red on Long Island, Change Is Coming
“Look at what happened on Long Island on 2021. Long Island was the reddest wave in the country. From the two DA seats, one in each county, to the executive seat that nobody foresaw flipping, to little county legislator seats to town board seats, they were just not on the table [to flip red]. And these were largely in the third congressional district. Trump is the driving force behind that. People are starting to realize the hypocrisy of the mainstream media. Just earlier today, I shared a video that Benny Johnson put out and I thought it was so it was startling. CNN’s top COVID advisor was a well accredited doctor who has advocated for masks and couldn’t wait for her one and four year old child to be vaccinated up until December. Then January her conversation changed, and February you would call her Republican. ‘I’m not sure we should be quick to jump to giving this to kids. There’s not enough time for studies.’ Long story short, the media is understanding that they’re failing this President and their party. So before they get terminated for their contract of being the communications branch of the Democrat Party, they’re trying to do major damage control.”
On Media Suppression
“If a Republican goes on the record and says something they will twist our words and make headlines saying all sorts of [supposed] crazy [things]. We’ll put out a statement correcting them and telling them that that was not factually correct. But we still get suppressed and nobody publishes our [correction] statement. Democrats do [the same thing]. They issue corrections, apologies, terminate reporters. And all hell breaks loose and all the networks cross-share, [such as] ‘Poor Whoopi, this is what she meant she should have never been canceled, cancel culture is such a disease’, although all along, Roseanne Barr wasn’t given the same courtesy. It’s criminal. It’s negligent. And it’s a double standard. It’s rules for thee not for me. Conservatives are held to a higher standard than Democrats ever have been”
Division In America Today
“We’re in the most racially divisive time that this country has been even so before and during segregation, and it was obvious we were racially divided. I don’t think we were as bad as we are today. We’re in an outright civil war. And it’s all race driven. It’s all Republican versus Democrat driven. And it’s just nauseating. Donald Trump did more for this country, for gays, for minorities, for every single community in this country. And he was called a homophobe, a racist, a misogynist, everything”
Hypocrisy of LGBT Rights From The Left
“The worst part is and I say this often, is [Trump] set up probably the most aggressive commission to sweep the globe of anti gay or anti homophobic laws in countries where they’re hanging them. And our activists here are screaming for peace for Hamas, peace for Palestine while they shoot the same people that are clamoring for their protection in New York City. As I like to call my fellow LGBT community people, the pink hair and blue hair people, they’re on the streets clamoring for justice for Palestine. While if they were in Palestine, they get shot in the head just for being different. Israel hosts the largest pro LGBT parade in the world and Trump was advocating for them, they couldn’t accept it. Their hatred for Trump, Orange Man was so bad, they couldn’t even see the good that guy did for them. So this is the country we live in. And this is why I believe suburbs are gonna swing back red and will take at least a decade. And I could be wrong, but put me on the record for saying it will take at least a decade for Democrats to start to make inroads back in the suburbs, because the suburbs of the United States are the ones suffering at the helm of the bad policies of Democrats. And that is why they are all going to flip red, no matter how gerrymandered”
Solutions To Voter Fraud: Republicans, Get Into The Communities
So one of the main solutions and that we fall short on as Republicans is if you’re campaigning for office, and you’re always comfortable in the setting you’re in, that means you’re doing something wrong. If you’re comfortable campaigning, you’re not going out of your bubble. You need to be in the most uncomfortable settings 100% of the time. I am often in the most uncomfortable settings, having the most uncomfortable conversations. Marc, I’m not gonna lie to you. It gets me a bunch of bad headlines. I will always be open to difficult, uncomfortable conversations stemming from reparations to immigration. That doesn’t mean I support it. And that doesn’t mean I’m giving it validation. It means I’m open to listening to the other side and, and trying to even argue with them my stance of why, and see if they can see my reasoning. We need to make that outreach. We need to be uncomfortable, the more uncomfortable we become, the more inroads we make.”
New Member Orientation & Cuomo Changing Rules Midstream
“I was outspent seven to one [in my 2020 Congressional run]. Come election night, I was 5800 votes ahead of a very powerful incumbent following election night. 10,200 votes ahead [the next day]. There were 23,000 absentee ballots received by Nassau County and Suffolk County, which were the main counties with absentee ballots. And I looked at those numbers and I said holy cow, I can do this. So I was invited down to New member orientation where I spent two weeks being trained to be a congressman as Congressman-elect. I have a badge and everything to prove it. Governor Cuomo kept changing the rules and eventually allowed 70,000 extra ballots to be added to the count and we unfortunately lost the race. I won’t quit this time around. We’re prepared to take this on. And there will be no meddling in this election. I guarantee you I have an army of volunteers behind me and I’m not backing down.”
You can find George at http://www.georgeforny.com and @santos4congress on Twitter, @santos4_congress on Instagram. He’s making it a mission to ensure every message gets answered.
You can view the full interview here.
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