Two days after receiving former President Donald J. Trump’s endorsement within the Michigan governor’s race, Tudor Dixon wouldn’t say whether she still believes that Mr. Trump won the 2020 election.
Ms. Dixon, a media personality who has gained momentum within the chaotic Republican primary race, was unequivocal in her belief in Mr. Trump’s disproved claims of victory as recently as May, but sidestepped the query during an appearance on Fox News on Sunday.
She avoided saying who won the race and as an alternative criticized Michigan’s top election official, Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who’s secretary of state, for her oversight of the election.
“Yes or no, do you think Donald Trump legitimately won the 2020 election in Michigan?” one among the talk’s moderators asked Ms. Dixon. Her answer was succinct: “Yes,” she said.
Key Revelations From the Jan. 6 Hearings
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Making a case against Trump. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack is laying out a comprehensive narrative of President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Listed below are the predominant themes which have emerged up to now from eight public hearings:
Ms. Dixon’s opponents within the five-way Republican primary quickly accused her of flip-flopping. “That’s a land-speed record for betraying President Trump, even by establishment politician standards,” one hopeful, Kevin Rinke, wrote on Twitter.
Ms. Dixon’s campaign didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on Monday about whether she had modified her position. But James Blair, a chief strategist for her campaign, told The Detroit Free Press that the criticism of Ms. Dixon was “sour grapes.” and said it could not “change her commitment to election integrity or the support she earned from President Trump.”
Ms. Dixon has swung from full-throat claims of fraud to more subtle positions before. In a response to Mr. Trump on Twitter five days after the 2020 election, she said, based on The Free Press, “Steal an election then hide behind calls for unity and leftists lap it up.” But at other times since joining the race, she has suggested only that election procedures created the chance for fraud.
“We’ve got to be certain our elections are secure and what happened in 2020 doesn’t occur again,” Ms. Dixon said on Fox News. “It was obviously a distinct election. We had Covid happening. There was the chance for changes to be made. This secretary of state made those changes, sending out absentee ballot applications to everyone within the state, bringing in Zuckerbucks, reducing the signature match.”
State officials have noted that every one jurisdictions in Michigan, no matter whether or not they were in Democratic or Republican-leaning areas, could have applied for the private election funds — a process that didn’t involve the Department of State.
Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of State, the agency headed by Ms. Benson, said that Ms. Dixon was spreading falsehoods concerning the election, including claims that voter identification requirements had been relaxed.
“Election deniers and conspiracy theorists have made it abundantly clear they should not fascinated by facts and truth, but as an alternative proceed to trot out the identical debunked talking points over and once more,” Ms. Wimmer said.
She added that courts and “a whole lot of bipartisan audits” had affirmed the integrity of the 2020 election.
Ms. Dixon has gained momentum with Mr. Trump’s endorsement and the backing of the powerful DeVos family, including Betsy DeVos, a former education secretary for Mr. Trump who broke with him after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
Mr. Trump is scheduled to talk during a telephone town hall event for Ms. Dixon on Monday night.