Former Republican campaign strategist Steve Schmidt claimed the fly that spent two minutes on Vice President Mike Pence’s head during Wednesday’s vice presidential debate was a biblical symbol of evil.
“I don’t think it’s ever a good sign when a fly lands on your head for two minutes,” Schmidt told MSNBC host Ari Melber. “That’s a sign all through history of sin, and historically, biblically—it’s only safe to say this, Ari, after midnight—but a fly, he who commands the fly is always been seen historically as the mark of the devil.”
Melber laughed in response, saying, “Now, as a journalist, now I have to ask for the record if you’re joking, because the fly could have landed on anyone.”
“Yes, but it didn’t. It landed on Mike Pence, and it says something,” Schmidt added, suggesting that the fly was a “karmic” symbol of President Donald Trump’s “cratering” campaign.
Steve Schmidt says the fly landing on Pence is a "sign historically of sin" and the "mark of the devil," prompting Ari Melber to ask if he's joking.
Schmidt: "It landed on Mike Pence. And it says something…karmic about the status of the campaign as it implodes." pic.twitter.com/mFcXavEWxt
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 8, 2020
Schmidt was perhaps referencing the biblical name Beelzebub, another name for Satan that translates from the Hebrew as “Lord of the Flies.”
The Biden campaign has already sold out of fly swatters commemorating the incident. The fly on Pence was not the first time such an insect featured during a political debate. During the second presidential debate between Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, a fly made headlines when it landed on Clinton’s forehead.
— Team Joe (Text JOE to 30330) (@TeamJoe) October 8, 2020
Schmidt, a member of The Lincoln Project who was once the spokesman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and the deputy assistant to President George W. Bush, renounced the Republican Party in 2018 because of Trump. In an extensive Twitter thread, he explained his belief that the GOP had become “corrupt, indecent and immoral” and that it was “filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party’s greatest leaders.”
“I have spent much of my life working in GOP politics. I have always believed that both parties were two of the most important institutions to the advancement of human freedom and dignity in the history of the world. Today the GOP has become a danger to our democracy and values,” he added.
During an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson in August, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin blasted Schmidt as “a piece of work” and accused him and Nicolle Wallace of being “wolves in sheep’s clothing” who sabotaged her 2008 campaign with the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). “You know, those of us who were kind of victims of what they’re capable of, it’s kind of vindication for us. It’s like, ‘See, told you so! They were never on our team to begin with.'”
“Ok. I can’t help it,” Schmidt responded. “It has been 12 years since [Nicolle Wallace] and I had to deal with her paranoia, pathological lying, profound ignorance, brittleness, and insanity. We had to deal with her for 70 days. It has been amazing to watch her soar and prove all her critics wrong[.]”
Ok. I can’t help it. It has been 12 years since @NicolleDWallace and I had to deal with her paranoia, pathological lying, profound ignorance, brittleness and insanity. We had to deal with her for 70 days. It has been amazing to watch her soar and prove all her critics wrong https://t.co/hUZMrmBbQf
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) August 20, 2020