Endangered GOP Senators Helping Cement His Role as Party Standard Bearer
Statement from Sadie Weiner, DSCC Communications Director:
“In the wake of Donald Trump’s latest shameful policy proposal, endangered Republican senators are in major trouble. Instead of breaking away from a dangerous and damaging frontrunner, vulnerable senators caved to their party’s new standard bearer and are still planning to support Trump should he become the party’s nominee. This is a turning point for these candidates, who were already struggling to cover up their reckless records and have absolutely no standing to do so now in the #PartyofTrump.”
TUESDAY MORNING: Chuck Todd Tells MSNBC that Trump Has Hijacked the Republican Party, “Now The Party Has to Get Out From Under Him.”
“Let’s look at the big picture here: Donald Trump has hijacked the Republican Party, pure and simple. You now have an entire party that had been for months quietly whining about this, nervous about this, concerned about this, but every time they tried to do something about it, it blew up in their face. Whether this blows up in their face or not they may have no choice now. It is a total distraction. It is a total ridiculous proposition and now the party has to figure out how to get out from under him.”
BY TUESDAY EVENING: That ship had sailed.
Buzzfeed: “One question — would they support Trump if he’s the GOP presidential nominee? — continues to dog the [Republican] party and its most vulnerable representatives.”
Politico: “In the Senate, where the majority is even more tenuous, lawmakers are practically running from the question. Asked about Trump, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he makes a practice of avoiding commenting on presidential politics.”
Associated Press: “New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she opposes any ‘religious-based test for our immigration standards,’ but she declined to criticize Trump directly when pressed by reporters.”
Cincinnati Enquirer: “‘I intend to support the Republican nominee…’ Portman said.”
Roll Call: “This cycle’s second most vulnerable Republican, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, sponsored the Senate bill that would add additional layers of security checks to Syrian and Iraqi refugees. But his campaign did not immediately issue a statement when asked for comment Tuesday. Spokesman Brian Reisinger followed up to say, ‘This is not a serious or well-thought-out policy proposal.’”
Washington Post: “‘I will support the nominee of the party,’ said Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee. ‘I doubt if there’s any nominee I totally agree with in my lifetime.’”
Washington Post: “Another GOP senator facing a tough race, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, simply denied that Trump’s antics would have any impact on his contest.”
Huffington Post: “Donald Trump will headline a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania Friday, just days after he called for the United States to ban all Muslims from entering the country.”
Reminder: “The party said it will spend the proceeds to help re-elect U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.”
AP BIG STORY: “Muslim Ban Idea Pushes GOP Toward Chaos”
“Republicans up for re-election in the Senate grew terse in the Capitol hallways as they were asked again and again to respond to Trump’s remarks — a glimpse of their political futures if the former reality show star captures the GOP nomination.” READ.
FALLOUT (via WaPo): Here are the 5 Senate Republicans who should be very worried about Donald Trump
1. Mark Kirk 2. Ron Johnson 3. Rob Portman 4. Kelly Ayotte 5. Pat Toomey.
“Trump is Senate Republicans’ worst nightmare right now. His ban-Muslim-immigrants comment is undoubtedly going to make it harder for vulnerable Senate Republicans … argue that their party hasn’t gone off the deep end ideologically.” READ.