Rep. George Santos on Friday vowed to win reelection despite being exposed as a serial liar, a raft of federal criminal charges filed against him and almost being expelled from Congress.
The controversial Long Island Republican told CNN that he would put his critics on both sides of the aisle to shame by winning a second term in 2024.
“Nobody said I could win last time,” Santos told reporter Manu Raju, referring to his 2022 upset win in the Democratic-leaning NY-03 covering the North Shore and a slice of Queens. “There’s no pre-determined outcome.”
He pooh-poohed revelations that he concocted virtually his entire life story to go from being a virtual unknown to a member of Congress.
“No one elected me because I played volleyball or not,” he said. “Nobody knew my biography…who voted for me.”
Santos insisted that Long Island voters would stand by him and his conservative message despite his controversy-courting ways.
“People elected me because I said I’d come here to fight the swamp, I’d come here to lower inflation, create more jobs, make life more affordable, and the commitment to America,” he said.
Santos spoke out just two days after he won a major victory when his colleagues soundly rejected a move to expel him.
The measure, introduced by some of his fellow vulnerable first-term Republican lawmakers, lost 179-213, failing to win a majority let alone the two-thirds vote needed to oust him.
Many Republicans and even some Democrats were reluctant to take a historic action against Santos before he is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime.
The House ethics committee may have bought some breathing room from Santos when it issued an unusual update saying it would reveal recommendations by Nov. 17. Many lawmakers said they wanted to wait to see the results of the probe before backing expulsion for Santos.
Santos’ political woes may be the least of his problems.
He has been charged with federal fraud and campaign finance charges that could put him in prison for years. He says he will be vindicated at a trial that has been set for September 2024.
Santos denies published reports that he is negotiating with prosecutors on a possible plea deal, an arrangement that could include his resigning from Congress.