At Trump rally in Illinois, Rep. Mary Miller calls reversal of Roe a ‘victory for white life’

Miller and Rep. Rodney Davis are facing off in a GOP primary battle where some $12 million in outside money is flooding the 15th congressional district.

SHARE At Trump rally in Illinois, Rep. Mary Miller calls reversal of Roe a ‘victory for white life’
Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., is welcomed to the stage by Donald Trump at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Mendon, Illinois on June 25, 2022.

Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., is welcomed to the stage by Donald Trump during a Save America Rally at the Adams County Fairgrounds Saturday in Mendon, Illinois.

Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Freshman GOP Rep. Mary Miller — standing next to former President Donald Trump at a rally to boost her re-election bid in downstate Mendon, and reading from a notebook — said the Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade was a “victory for white life.”

The crowd at the Adams County Fairgrounds on Saturday cheered.

A horrified Twitterverse lit up.

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One tweet with a clip of Miller’s “white life” quote was at 10.6 million views as I write this on Sunday.

Miller is a farmer from Oakland, raised in Naperville and married to GOP state Rep. Chris Miller. Miller is in a battle for her political survival, facing another Republican in the Tuesday Illinois primary, Rep. Rodney Davis, of Taylorville, who is seeking a sixth term.

Here’s her entire quote: “President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday. Our victories for life and the second amendment would never have been possible if the never-Trump RINOs had gotten their way.”

There is enormous national interest in this central Illinois primary, where Trump is trying to increase the number of MAGA Republicans in the House who make fealty — not just mere loyalty — to Trump a priority.

MAGA is a reference to the Trump slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

RINO — Republican in Name Only — is a term long hurled against Republicans seen as not part of the conservative wing of the party. Under Trump, this political shorthand has been revised and weaponized. RINO now means, in this Trump era, anyone who is not a staunch Trump defender, or is not an election denier or a likely backer of his comeback 2024 presidential bid.

That is the essential issue in this Miller/Davis primary.

As of Sunday, according to Federal Election Commission records, more than $12 million in spending from outside groups has flooded the 15th Congressional District primary, about evenly divided in bolstering Davis or Miller. The winner of the primary in this heavily Republican district is virtually assured to clinch the seat in November.

Davis said in a Sunday statement that Miller’s “white life” comment was “just another part of a disturbing pattern of behavior she’s displayed since coming to Congress. This is why she uses the Biden basement strategy and refuses to answer questions or hold public events.”

Davis said Miller “has demonstrated she is not fit for public office.”

Miller’s spokesperson, Isaiah Wartman, told the Sun-Times in an email on Sunday she “very clearly meant to say ‘victory for Right to Life.’” He added, “Mary stumbles while saying ‘Right to Life’ and the fake news vultures are out.”

He enclosed a photo of Miller with 16 of her grandchildren — a multi-racial group including, according to Wartman, a grandchild with Down syndrome.

Miller’s anti-abortion credentials are not at issue here — this is about her saying “white life” and how whether she meant it or, in Wartman’s view, just flubbed her words.

Wartman in a sense is asking for people to be charitable, to give Miller the benefit of the doubt.

But when it comes to the benefit of the doubt, Miller does not offer it to others. All news to Miller — that is, news that she does not like — is, as she reminded us at the Trump rally, fake news.

Miller has been in a jam before. In office less than a week, she said at a pro-Trump rally in Washington, “Hitler was right on one thing.” She was blasted for the uninformed and repugnant remark. In her apology, she couldn’t just own up to the mistake and leave it at that — she also said, “some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs.”

Twisting words. Let’s see. Miller said at the rally that Davis voted for the “sham Jan. 6 witch hunt,” a reference a reasonable person would take to be the Jan. 6 committee investigating the Capitol attacks and Trump’s role in trying to overturn the election. In June 2021, the House voted 222-190 to create the panel. Only two Republicans voted for it, and they ended up on the committee — Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

She suggested Davis wanted Hillary Clinton to be president. Anyone who knows Davis, a conservative anti-abortion Republican, understands that’s ridiculous.

She portrayed Davis as a leader of the gun control movement. He just voted against the gun control bills President Joe Biden signed into law, as did Miller.

Miller is asking, in the wake of her “victory for white life” remark, for a break.

Forgiving is one thing. Forgetting, another.

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