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If all goes as planned, longtime, very argumentative Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera, a beloved figure known for his contrarian positions, may soon be Sen. Geraldo Rivera.
In a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon, he announced that he’s “pondering” running for current Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s seat in 2022.
A couple days after Inauguration Day in January, Portman, a 10-year Senate veteran, revealed that he won’t be seeking reelection in 2022 because of “partisan gridlock.”
Could Rivera, a guy who’s capable of fiercely defending his positions — with shouting and everything — while still remaining friends with (and even married to) his opponents be the guy to fix the gridlock? Maybe!
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 10, 2021
Is he serious, though? Or is he just playing around?
Speaking with The Plain Dealer, the newspaper for his “hometown” of Cincinnati (he’s only been there since 2017, but he’s vowed to stay there forever), the longtime Fox News contributor claimed that he certainly is serious.
“Rivera said he was serious about the endeavor and planned on traveling the state on a listening tour in the coming weeks to solicit feedback about his potential candidacy. He said he and his wife, Erica Levy, a Democrat, would talk it over in the coming weeks as they decide,” the paper reported Wednesday evening.
“I think that’s a crucial seat. We’re very concerned about the future of Ohio and the nation and we think we have a role to play,” he said to the paper.
Sure, but he’s played the “maybe I might run” game before.
Case in point:
Wondering how folks feel about me running in N.J. under GOP banner against either Lautenberg or Booker for U.S. Senate?
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 31, 2013
That run in New Jersey never materialized.
Regardless, he added in his remarks to The Plain Dealer that he’d self-fund some of the Ohio campaign to get it off the ground and that he views himself in the mold of Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez.
It was a telling remark to make because Gonzalez voted two months ago to impeach former President Donald Trump, a man who’s supposed to be Rivera’s friend.
For this move, the Ohio representative is now facing a Trump-backed primary challenge:
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 28, 2021
All this comes as Rivera continues to blame the former president for the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol — a move that’s earned him ire from the GOP base.
Back in January, he too supported Trump’s impeachment:
#DonaldTrump should be Impeached. He should know history is judging him whether or not he is convicted and removed from office. He should also apologize to the families of those who lost their lives. His actions were inexcusable & undeniable. This time, he did it. pic.twitter.com/IAh57UuhI6
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 13, 2021
And then a day before the former president’s speech at CPAC 2021, Rivera posted a video tweet demanding Trump apologize for the riot.
Welcome back Mr President but first apologize for January 6th pic.twitter.com/qCBEh1lYVj
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) February 27, 2021
This is how I feel about President Trump, my friend
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 11, 2021
Yet he still calls Trump a “friend.”
“He’s been a friend of mine forever. I have been very public in my disapproval of his actions post-election and certainly condemn in the most vigorous way what happened on Jan. 6,” Rivera said to The Plain Dealer about the former president.
“However, I think President Trump is not only redeemable, but he’s a force of nature who has been a lifelong friend in my adult life. I would expect he would approve of this. We can resolve our issues and help heal the Republican Party.”
Perhaps, but all of this “back-stabbing” has not endeared the Fox news personality to the GOP base, and so predictably, his announcement of a possible Senate run wasn’t well-received.
Here’s just a sliver of the backlash:
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) March 11, 2021
@GeraldoRivera please Do Not run for US Senate as a Republican We do NOT need you and we Do NOT need another Rhino – You are such a backstabber! I live in your area and you have a NO vote from me and my husband!
— Patty (@Patty41762103) March 11, 2021
Not if you are a Turncoat😉
— Freethinking Woman🗣 (@FreethinkingWo2) March 10, 2021
Hello no, you are a “deuche”and you a traitor to the MAGA movement! You threw President Trump under the bus!!
— marie (@mariebeachbum) March 11, 2021
sit down traitor.
— G (@grant_koerner) March 11, 2021
Don’t waste your time.
Grifters are not welcome.
President Trump had more political savvy in one hand, than you have in your whole body.
Stop thinking you can even remotely be a leader.
Stick to finding empty vaults,
Like the empty suit that you are.
— D. R. Martino in da Thailand House (@DennisRMartino) March 11, 2021
As a Trump supporter I will NEVER vote for you. And that’s nothing against your career as a journalist you’re just not the America first politician right wing voters are looking for.
— BLESSED 1776 🇺🇸 (@number1shred) March 11, 2021
It appears the public has spoken …
If Rivera proceeds with a run anyway, he’ll likely face a slate of high-profile challengers, including potentially J.D. Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”
I hope @JDVance1 will run for Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s seat in 2022. He is exactly the kind of new Republican we need.
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) January 25, 2021