GOP tries to scrub evidence it said its newest congressman should 'quit now'

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The National Republican Congressional Committee is trying to pretend it never attacked party-switching Rep. Jeff Van Drew.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew officially left the Democratic caucus and joined the GOP on Thursday, over opposition to Donald Trump's impeachment. And the House Republican campaign arm, which once vowed to defeat Van Drew in 2020, is now trying to scrub any evidence that it attacked the newly minted Republican.

The National Republican Congressional Committee deleted tweets it once sent attacking Van Drew. The group also tried to erase attacks posted against Van Drew on its website.

However, the NRCC did not succeed in that effort before internet sleuths could screenshot some of the insults and criticisms it once made about Van Drew.

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For example, the NRCC accused Van Drew of shady fundraising, as well as fundraising so "abysmal" he should "quit now and save himself the embarrassment" of running for reelection.

The NRCC also attacked Van Drew on some local issues important to his constituents, including an effort to get a train line to Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"Congressman Van Drew has no power, no influence, and no impact over NJ Transit or federal officials to ensure the AC Rail Line gets turned back on," the NRCC wrote in an attack post now scrubbed from its website.

The NRCC also bashed Van Drew for voting against Trump 93.5% of the time.

"He stands in the way of moving the President’s agenda forward," the NRCC wrote, according to a screenshot captured by Daily Kos Elections. "Van Drew voted to create a pathway to citizenship for 2.5 million illegal immigrants."

The NRCC also attacked Van Drew's record on abortion rights, which the Republican Party opposes.

"Jeff Van Drew has a lengthy record of going all-in on abortion, withdrawing his sponsorship of a bill requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortions and receiving Planned Parenthood’s highest rating," the NRCC wrote. Of course, supporting Planned Parenthood is also something the GOP opposes.

This reporter also had emails from the NRCC attacking Van Drew, accusing him of not actually being bipartisan and labeling him a "career Trenton politician who will say anything to get elected."

The NRCC, for its part, is now laudatory of Van Drew after he switched parties, with its chair, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) saying that Van Drew "should be commended for refusing to blindly follow Nancy Pelosi’s stampede of hate-filled Democrats over the edge of the political cliff."

Van Drew's southern New Jersey district is a swing seat. Trump carried it in 2016 by 5 points, while former President Barack Obama won it by 8 points in 2012.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.