Republican Legislators Beg Trump To Be Nicer to Them
As Republican lawmakers head deeper into a midterm season expected to favor Democrat candidates, several are publicly decrying President Donald Trump’s tendency to blame them for the problems in D.C.
Congress has long been one of the many targets of the president’s derision, which has included a series of recent tweets blaming the GOP-controlled House and Senate for gridlock.
As The Hill reported, Trump has specifically complained about the legislative pace on issues relating to the budget and immigration. He also accused lawmakers of taking too long to approve his nominees.
The president has had no apparent qualms about dragging fellow Republicans into the mix regarding the ongoing Department of Justice special counsel probe into his presidential campaign.
Is this Phony Witch Hunt going to go on even longer so it wrongfully impacts the Mid-Term Elections, which is what the Democrats always intended? Republicans better get tough and smart before it is too late!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
In one of many tweets calling the investigation a “Witch Hunt,” Trump seemed to suggest members of his party in Congress should intervene on his behalf.
“Republicans better get tough and smart before it is too late!” he wrote.
While the president claimed in his tweet that the special counsel probe would negatively impact Republicans’ chances in November’s elections, many in the party think it is Trump’s own rhetoric that could torpedo some campaigns.
Multiple elected Republicans have expressed concern in recent days over the level of opprobrium directed at them from the White House in the midst of a tough election cycle. The attacks are not only often unjustified, they say, but counterproductive if the goal is to maintain Republican control of Congress.
U.S. Sen Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he has resorted to printing business cards listing the accomplishments of the past legislative session. He said he has been handing them out to constituents to counter the prevailing narrative that Congress has been inactive.
Some of his colleagues have been more open in their request for support from the president.
“It would be very helpful with our base if rather than suggesting we weren’t doing anything, that he acknowledged what we are getting done,” said Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D.
He said Trump appeared to understand their concerns when they were expressed during a conference with Republican senators this week.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., personally delivered one of Alexander’s cards to Trump at the meeting in the hopes that positive talking points will replace some of the frequent complaints.
Some Republicans outside of Congress agree the presidential blame game could backfire and potentially threaten the party’s slim advantage in the Senate.
GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said there are two main reasons Trump should reconsider his messaging ahead of the midterm elections.
“One, Trump has great clout with the Republican base,” he said. “Two, hammering Republicans undermines their central argument in the midterm election, which is, ‘The president needs reinforcements. Look at the great results, he needs more Republicans, not Democrats.'”
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