Richmond, VA — Amanda Chase’s dangerous extremism and conspiracy theories are the reason she is the frontrunner in the race to be the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Virginia. True to form, she took her bizarre, extremist platform to a national audience this weekend, making clear she has set the standard for Virginia Republicans. In an unhinged CNN appearance, Chase managed to:
- Repeat the dangerous, debunked lie that the 2020 election was stolen
- Attack the Republican Party of Virginia for its rigged nomination process
- Reiterate her threat to burn down the GOP and run as an independent
- Criticize “weak-kneed Republicans” -- a clear shot at the rest of the field
- Espouse deranged conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines
Read key excerpts of CNN’s reporting below and read the full report here:
CNN: Virginia's off-year elections could pose key test for both parties
By Abby Phillip and Jeff Simon
[...] Perhaps no other candidate for the GOP nomination for governor is seeking to embody Trumpism more than State Sen. Amanda Chase.
"I think President Trump embodied a lot of the principles that Virginians feel," Chase said. "I've been campaigning for over a year now talking to everyday average Virginians, and what they like about President Trump, what they like about me is that we speak the truth."
But Chase has hinged much of her statewide and increasingly national profile on mimicking misinformation and lies touted by Trump. Most notably, her continued support for the debunked falsehood that the 2020 election was fraudulent. [...]
Chase has now taken to waging a war on the Republican Party itself, unsuccessfully attempting to stop the party from holding a nominating convention instead of a primary to select its nominee.
Chase said the move to hold a convention is an attempt to stop her from winning.
"Make no mistake, there are people who are terrified of strong, independent, conservative women," Chase said. "If they get to the point where the 72 members don't allow the people to participate, I will declare the Republican Party as dead, and I will start the Patriot party of Virginia."
She is one of a half dozen Republicans running for the party's gubernatorial nomination, most of whom, like her, echo some version of Trump's election fraud claims.
Chase has also battled over Covid-19 restrictions -- refusing to wear a mask during the legislative session resulting in lawmakers placing a plexiglass box around her desk.
In an interview, Chase said that she does not wear a mask because she has a medical condition preventing her from doing so, but she also refused to endorse mask wearing in general, which public health officials have said will help control the spread of the virus.
Her theories on Covid-19 go even further into conspiratorial territory. Asked how she would control the virus if she were elected governor, Chase said the vaccine would bring the virus under control -- but she would not say whether she believed the vaccine was safe.
"I do believe that the, you know, that this virus is just going to run its course and people are going to develop natural immunities to it," Chase said, espousing a theory that natural herd immunity could be achieved if the virus were allowed to spread freely. Public health experts have said that such a policy would result in a level of death orders of magnitude greater than what the US has already experienced.
Asked to elaborate on her plan to control the virus if she were elected, Chase also touted hydroxychloroquine, a drug once pushed by Trump as a treatment for Covid-19 that has since been found to be ineffective. And she added that people could be protected from the virus by taking supplements such as Vitamin D. Both suggestions are contrary to the best available science and could potentially be harmful.
If the Republican Party is seeking to move away from this sort of rhetoric, Chase is hoping to make that task more difficult. She carries around her willingness to push these claims as a badge of honor.
"We have two different types of Republicans. We have firebrand Republicans, and I believe we have weak kneed Republicans. I'm a firebrand Republican," Chase said. "I'm not afraid to speak what I believe is the truth and what a lot of other Virginians and Americans across Virginia -- I'm going to be their voice." [...]