Mr Santos simply asked on Tuesday, “Santos for Speaker?” on the same day that fellow Republican Rep Tom Emmer dropped out of the race after being nominated by the House GOP Conference. The two options Mr Santos put forward were “yes” and “yes.” He was quickly mocked by X users.
One user commented: “You’re getting paid 174k of our tax dollars for this? You’re now trolling the people who pay your salary.”
Another user jokingly provided other potential poll responses, including, “no”, “hell no”, and “[are you f***ing kidding me] no.”
Someone else opined, “This poll is an illustration as to how politicians would like elections to be run.”
Another person remarked: “You could just not and say you did. Like, ya know, every other thing you say you did.”
But Mr Santos was not done selling his proposal. Ten minutes later, he posted a meme, which featured a photo of himself with text over it that reads: “They’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in the way.”
His words appeared to be a direct reference to a quote from former President Donald Trump. Mr Trump posted a similar meme on the platform in 2019 that showed a black-and-white photo of him pointing at the camera with text over it that read: “In reality, they’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in the way.”
The former president echoed this phrase in his first remarks following being federally indicted in the classified documents probe: “In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you — and I’m just standing in their way.”
Perhaps Mr Santos’ post is a plea for support from Mr Trump, whose influence seems to be somewhat tied to the success of House Speaker candidates. After Mr Emmer was nominated on Tuesday, the former president offered scathing comments about the Minnesota Republican, labelling him as a “Globalist RINO”.
Shortly thereafter, Mr Emmer’s speaker bid ended.
Under Mr Santos’ meme, X provided a note for additional context: “They are in fact after Representative Santos, who is accused of stealing money from his own donors, among other offenses.” In both contexts, “they” appears to refer to the federal government. The New York Republican was previously charged in May, to all of which he pleaded not guilty, and was charged again with additional counts this month.
In all, Mr Santos faces one count of conspiracy to commit offences against the US, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of access device fraud.
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