Gay Republican congressional candidate Carl DeMaio feels he is being attack by liberal groups and LGBT-friendly organizations simply because he is a Republican. Ads mocking DeMaio have included putting his likeness on the body of a drag queen.
Dana Perino of Fox News first brought the Carl DeMaio race to national attention after flying to the state to meet the man who might become the first openly gay Republican to be elected to the state Congress. Perino was moved by Demaio's life story and achievement working across the aisle to foster economic growth when serving in other elected positions. The man referred to by many as "the gay Republican" was orphaned at 13 when his dad left the family a few weeks for his mother died. He and his brothers and sisters were separated into different foster homes by social services.
As a young adult, Carl DeMaio worked to put himself through a top-tier college and ultimately went on to build and then sell two multi-million dollar companies. The Californian's story sounds like the embodiment of the American dream, but the attack ads he has endured since throwing his hat into the ring for a congressional seat have been deemed as demonizing, demoralizing, and full of "gay-baiting" hate speech. Media Matters is among those who appear to not support DeMaio and have mocked Fox News for supporting the candidate. The gay Republican was also booed during a gay pride parade in California.
DeMaio had this to say about the response from liberal and typically LGBT supportive groups throughout his candidacy:
"It's a standard set of talking point to demonize the Republican Party. Let's put on the record that the Republican Party has its fair share of problems it's got to deal with on these issues, and that's why I call myself a new-generation Republican. These progressive activists are wiling to put aside what they claim to want to achieve for LGBT Americans in the name of partisan politics. But I am going to continue to be who I am, which is, I am for inclusion and acceptance and diversity in the Republican Party around a message of reform – fiscal reform, economic prosperity, government accountability."