George Santos, a newly elected member of Congress from Long Island, reportedly fabricated all of the key elements of his biography. The New York Times was unable to verify that he actually worked at Citigroup or Goldman Sachs, that he attended either of the colleges he claimed to have graduated from, that his nonprofit (Friends of Pets United) is a legitimate charity, nor that he resides at his listed home address. And it found that, in 2008, Santos “stole the checkbook of a man his mother was caring for.”
These are serious allegations. Sometimes, you see public figures accused of wrongdoing respond with a detailed, point-by-point rebuttal. Santos’s official response is the opposite of that:
Absolutely nothing Santos says here rebuts the charges or even reassures his constituents that there isn’t more undiscovered misbehavior or criminality lurking in the huge biographical void uncovered in this story. Let’s go through his response line by line.
George Santos represents the kind of progress that the left is so threatened by — a gay, Latino, first-generation American and Republican who won a Biden district in overwhelming fashion by showing everyday voters that there is a better option than the broken promises and failed policies of the Democratic Party.
The allegation is that Santos won his district by presenting himself as something other than what he actually is, so this merely repeats elements of the charge.
After four years in the public eye, and on the verge of being sworn in as a member of the Republican led 118th Congress, the New York Times launched this shotgun blast of attacks.
Here, Santos is turning two aspects of the story that reflect badly on him against the reporters who broke the story. He is noting that the Times failed to expose his lies before the election. Generally, the most persuasive way to dismiss allegations of wrongdoing is to depict them as weak. Santos oddly goes the other way, conceding the allegations are extremely powerful (“shotgun blast of attacks”) but implicitly asking the public to sympathize with him for this reason.
It is no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at the New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations.
Again, if the Times was trying to hurt his career, it would have published these charges before the election. If the Times was out to get Santos simply because he is a Republican, why hasn’t it charged any other members of Congress with running on a completely fake résumé?
As Winston Churchill famously stated, “You have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
The mere fact that one has enemies does not inherently make them good or bad. Also Churchill never said this.