Right-wing commentator and GOP-backed congressional candidate Anna Paulina Luna previously appeared on a QAnon program, where she praised the hosts and tried to get support for her campaign. Numerous Republican candidates and organizations have attempted to appeal to QAnon supporters during this election cycle.
Luna, who is running for Congress in Florida’s 13th Congressional District against incumbent Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, is the chairperson of Hispanic Initiatives at PragerU and the former director of Hispanic engagement for Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA. After she won her primary in August, Fox 13 Tampa Bay wrote that she “is quickly becoming a rising star in the GOP.” Luna has received support from President Donald Trump and is part of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns recruitment program.
In 2019, as the Tampa Bay Times reported, “she led a panel discussion on border security at an event hosted by We Build The Wall, the nonprofit whose leaders were indicted [in August] on charges that they defrauded donors.”
Luna also appeared on the May 21 edition of The Common Sense Show on the Patriots’ Soapbox network, which is devoted to pushing the QAnon conspiracy theory.
QAnon is based on cryptic posts to online message boards from an anonymous user known as “Q" that have spread rampantly on social media and among fringe right-wing media. QAnon conspiracy theorists essentially believe that Trump is secretly working to take down the purported “deep state,” a supposed cabal of high-ranking officials who they claim are operating pedophile rings. The FBI has labeled the conspiracy theory as a potential domestic terror threat.
NBC News reported in August 2018 that the Patriots’ Soapbox network is “a round-the-clock livestreamed YouTube channel for Qanon study and discussion. The channel is, in effect, a broadcast of a Discord chatroom with constant audio commentary from a rotating cast of volunteers and moderators.” The Daily Beast also reported that the network “has been one of the most vocal QAnon outlets since the conspiracy theory began with a series of anonymous clues posted by a mysterious ‘Q’ in October 2017.”
YouTube recently banned the network’s main account as part of its belated crackdown on QAnon content. Luna’s interview is no longer available on YouTube. (A separate account that posts episodes of The Common Sense Show is currently still online; it does not include Luna's appearance.)
During Luna’s appearance on the program, Luna began by stating: “Thank you so much for having me on. I'm super glad to finally be able to reach out and talk to you guys. It's [her day] been actually incredible. And, you know, it's a special political climate. You know, you just see so much stuff on the campaign trail. So being on with you guys and talking to other, you know, good conservative Republicans, it definitely gives me hope for the future, that’s for sure.”
Luna did not directly discuss QAnon during the interview. She did delve into conspiratorial rhetoric, including suggesting that Democrats have “so much control of the media, when you have such a favoritism in digital, and then you look at the grand scheme of things and why they're pushing these massive mail-in voting across the nation. I mean, I don't trust them to not fix the election in favor of Joe Biden.”
She concluded her interview by promoting her social media account and website.
During Luna’s interview, information about QAnon was displayed on screen. And after her interview ended, the hosts talked about QAnon.
Numerous Republican candidates have appeared on the Patriots’ Soapbox network during the 2020 campaign, including congressional candidates Lauren Boebert, Rep. Jody Hice, Rich McCormick, and Burgess Owens. Trump campaign official Erin Perrine went on the show last year to recruit campaign volunteers.
Business Insider recently reported that “GOP political strategists acknowledged in interviews with Insider that Republicans view QAnon believers and the movement not as a liability or as a scourge to be extinguished, but as a useful band of fired-up supporters. While they're careful not to embrace QAnon explicitly, these Republicans said, they make sure not to adopt messages that alienate what has become a key part of the Republican coalition.”