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Orange County Venue Cancels Gaetz and Greene Tour Stop

Orange County Venue Cancels Gaetz and Greene Tour Stop

An event center in Orange County, CA, canceled plans to host an “America First” rally on July 17th after learning the speakers were slated to be two of the most controversial Republicans in Congress: Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“We just want to stay clear of that,” Javad Mirtavoosi, general manager of Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center in Laguna Hills, told local news media. “As soon as we found out who the speakers were we immediately canceled it,” Mirtavoosi said.

Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images

Gaetz and Greene have been co-hosting America First rallies across the country since early May, when they kicked off the series in a Florida retirement community that heavily supported Trump in 2020. Images started circulating on social media earlier this week with a flier promoting an America First rally in Laguna Hills on July 17th featuring Gaetz (Q-FL) and Greene (Q-GA). The flier lists the location as the Pacific Hills center on Moulton Parkway.

At a May 22nd event in Dalton, Georgia, a Democrat who says he plans to challenge Greene in the 2022 midterms was reportedly kicked out of the “America First” rally. At another recent rally, Greene, who has come under fire for her repeated references and comparisons to the Holocaust, tore into her political opponents, called an openly gay congressman “Mussolini,” and called for a Black member of Congress to be expelled.

Greene’s campaign disputed that account of how the cancellation transpired. And they’re still selling tickets for a rally, though they’re still trying to find an Orange County venue for the same day. “We’re very close to securing a location that will proudly host our America First Rally with Congresswoman Greene and Congressman Gaetz,” Nick Dyer, spokesman for Greene’s campaign, said Friday afternoon. Dyer said ticket purchases for the planned Orange County event have been “overwhelming.”

Along with supporting Trump and many of his policies, the pair have faced multiple and separate controversies of their own. Gaetz is under investigation for accusations of having a sexual relationship with a minor, while Greene was booted from her House committees in February over her comments supporting far-right extremists.

The “America First” tour kicked off in May at a retirement home in Orlando, Florida. Its various cross-country stops have seen Gaetz and Greene tearing into enemies on both sides of the aisle, from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to so-called RINOs — “Republicans in Name Only” — who oppose the former guy’s agenda.

Earlier this year, both were linked to plans to create a political caucus that would espouse the idea that the United States is an “Anglo-Saxon” culture and that mass immigration is supplanting white culture — ideas previously espoused by white nationalists. Plans to start the caucus were dropped after negative public response and pushback from some in the GOP.

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