Billionaire-backed Blake Masters, the Arizona Republican party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate is undergoing a massive transformation little more than two months before Election Day and nearly two months after early voting in the Grand Canyon State has already begun.
Masters is a a venture capitalist, the former COO of billionaire Peter Thiel’s investment firm, and former head of his foundation. He’s been described as someone who “spews white supremacist conspiracies,” including promoting the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, saying Democrats “hope to just change the demographics of our country” and “hope to import an entirely new electorate,” while lamenting: “Then they call you a racist and a bigot.”
Earlier this month Mother Jones described Masters as a “disaster for democracy,” and noted that the “millennial millionaire won thanks to two anti-democratic billionaires,” namely Thiel and Donald Trump.
Masters is trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Kelly. While there’s been little public polling on the race, this month Real Clear Politics shows Kelly, the retired astronaut and U.S. Navy captain, winning by an average of six points.
Despite the narrow margin, it does not appear to be going well for Masters, and his campaign is actively scrubbing his website of some of his core political positions and his allegiance to Donald Trump, as well as taking a page out of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ strategy by attacking the LGBTQ community.
“Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters removed language from his website following his primary win that included the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, along with a section arguing the country would be better off if Trump was still the president,” CNN reported Monday night.
Masters “also removed controversial language saying Democrats were trying to ‘import’ a new electorate — language that has drawn fire for mirroring far-right conspiracies that Democrats are trying to weaken the power of native-born Americans of European descent through mass immigration of non-White immigrants,” CNN notes, adding that “NBC News first reported last week that Masters attempted to tone down his position on abortion by removing from his website his support of a ‘federal personhood law’ and a several other strict anti-abortion positions while releasing a video in which the Republican nominee took a softer stance on the issue.”
In fact, local Arizona news outlet The Copper Courier blasted the Republican candidate, late last week writing: “Blake Masters on Thursday provided a perfect example of why most Americans hate politics, flip-flopping on his stance on abortion rights in spectacular fashion.”
“Masters previously supported a nationwide abortion ban, said Roe v. Wade was a ‘horrible decision,’ and that allowing women the freedom to make their own reproductive health decisions was equivalent to ‘genocide.’ Now, he claims he wants a ban on fewer than 1% of abortions,” the Courier added.
To prove their point The Copper Courier posted this video comparison to Twitter, showing the extreme extent to which Masters has abandoned what appeared to be his deeply-held positions.
Blake Masters’ flip-flop on abortion is one for the ages and we’ve got the receipts. pic.twitter.com/ZmcYQt3DeX
— The Copper Courier (@CopperCourier) August 29, 2022
Moving away from the abortion issue, which has led to massive increases in women registering to vote, Masters decided to attack LGBTQ and Black Americans.
Masters “suggested in a sarcastic Twitter post late Sunday that the nation’s economic struggles were connected to increased gender and racial diversity in Federal Reserve leadership,” The New York Times reports. “He then dug in on Monday with a video in which he denounced ‘the Democrats’ diversity obsession’ and described Vice President Kamala Harris as a beneficiary of an ‘affirmative action regime.’”
But even before this “sarcastic” attack on LGBTQ and Black people, Masters was virulently anti-LGBTQ.
Earlier this month The American Independent reported that “throughout his primary campaign” Masters “regularly attacked LGBTQ people and dismissed the importance of their visibility and legal rights.”
“Masters calls LGBTQ-inclusive books ‘disgusting sex stuff’ and transgender women ‘men in women’s bathrooms.’”
The Independent also notes that “In June, the Daily Beast reported that, although Masters had attended the 2017 wedding of his mentor and campaign benefactor Peter Thiel and his boyfriend, Matt Danzeisen, he does not believe that marriage or other same-sex unions should be legal.”
“Masters not only endorsed [Florida’s] so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, but also proposed imposing it on the entire nation,” The Independent added, “‘When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I will push a federal version of the Florida law: your tax dollars should not fund radical gender ideology and weird sex instruction for children,’ he tweeted on March 10.”
In July, mischaracterizing a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Masters wrote about the Masterpiece Cakeshop case: “The baker won, SCOTUS said he can’t be forced to write pro-gay things on the cake he was otherwise happy to bake. Now the baker is being sued again, for not doing a pro-trans cake. This will continue forever. The process is the punishment.”