Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) might have lost his salary due to his historic expulsion from Congress, but the ex-lawmaker is making up for at least some of it with the support of Democrats across the country.
Santos unveiled Monday his services on Cameo, a platform that allows users to purchase personalized videos from a range of celebrities.
Demand for Santos’ videos was high, and the ex-congressman raised his price three times as a result: from $75 a pop initially to $200. Videos are now “temporarily unavailable” to purchase after he sold out.
But a significant portion of the demand appears to have come from unlikely financial supporters of Santos: Democrats.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) purchased a Santos Cameo for $343.20 on Monday (they paid a surcharge to have it delivered within 24 hours).
In the video, Santos unwittingly offers advice to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who was indicted on corruption-related charges stemming from allegations he accepted bribes from the Egyptian government. Fetterman has called on Menendez to resign
“These people that want to make you get in trouble and want to kick you out and make you run away, you make them put up or shut up,” Santos says. “You stand your ground, sir, and don’t get bogged down by all the haters out there.”
But Fetterman is not the only Democrat to be giving Santos some post-ouster cash.
The Ohio Democratic Party purchased a Cameo from Santos as well, in which he thanked Republican Senate candidate Bernie Moreno for his support.
“Hey, I just wanted to stop by and say thank you to Bernie Moreno from Ohio for when I ran for U.S. Congress in 2022 for maxing out to my campaign,” Santos says in the video. “Unfortunately, you know, it ended. It’s over. But I want to say thank you very much for that donation and for all the support and I hope that in the future, I can come back and be part of the game again.”
Nebraska State Sen. Megan Hunt, who was elected as a Democrat but ditched party labels to become an independent in May, posted that a friend purchased a Cameo for her as well, calling it the “gift of the year.”
“Let me tell you something, if you believe in what you stand for and if you fight for what you do, and you stand by those convictions, screw the haters,” Santos tells Hunt in the video. “The haters are gonna hate.”
He continues: “Look, they can boot me out of Congress but they can’t take away my good humor or my large-than-life personality, nor my good faith and the absolute pride I have for everything I’ve done, so this about you, Megan. Be yourself unapologetically, just love yourself.”
Hunt added in a comment that she thinks Santos “is a transphobic fool who has defrauded and harmed people, who says what he has to say to get attention and probably doesn’t actually hold any personal moral convictions,” but that she does agree with his advice.
Santos does not appear to mind that his videos are being used for trolling purposes, writing in response to Fetterman’s video: “I love this! I wish I knew the Bobby in question! LOL”
But there has been backlash from others over Democrats spending cash on Santos’ Cameos.
“I think this is funny but I wouldn’t want my campaign donations ending up in the pocket of George Santos,” wrote one person in response to Fetterman’s video.
“Santos should just raise his Cameo price another $500,” wrote someone else about the Ohio Democrats’ video. “He could basically pad his legal defense fund off the backs of Democratic donors bc party leaders apparently just want to troll people online without much consideration over who they’re actually giving money to.”