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NRSC Admits: “No Daylight” Between Senate Republicans and Trump’s Failed Coronavirus Response

GOP Incumbents Praised Trump’s Botched Coronavirus Response Before NRSC Warned Not to Defend Him

Trump Campaign Threatens to Pull Support From Candidates Who Didn’t Show “Fealty” to President

As Republicans grow “increasingly nervous” about their prospects in November, the NRSC warned their candidates in a 57-page memo on April 17, “don’t defend Trump” as more reports detailed how the Trump administration ignored warnings, failed to ramp up testing, and allowed the coronavirus to “silently spread” throughout the United States for weeks.

But the NRSC’s attempt to distance their vulnerable candidates from Trump’s plunging poll numbers was too late — GOP incumbents and candidates were already on tape praising the president’s handling of this public health and economic crisis. Now, the NRSC is rushing to show the “fealty” the president demands by asserting “there is no daylight” between Senate Republicans and the president as a “furious” Trump campaign threatens to pull support from GOP candidates who don’t defend Trump.

“As the NRSC made clear, there’s no daylight between the president and Senate Republicans on the inadequate and dangerous coronavirus response,” said DSCC spokesperson Helen Kalla. “Instead of holding the White House accountable, Republicans put their political self-interest first — and it’s backfiring.”

Take a look at what incumbent Republican Senators, who’ve “worked hand in glove” with Trump, have said:

  • Senator Martha McSally (AZ): Well let me first say that [President Trump] is out in front and leading on this, and even during the impeachment battle when Schumer and Pelosi commandeered the Senate he set up this task force, he put the travel ban on and so far we have 60 cases in America.” [Fox Business, Varney and Co, 2/28/20]
  • Senator Cory Gardner (CO): I think what the president has tried to say [on hydroxychloroquine] is he wants to give some hope to people that he’s read about it in Europe. It’s shown some hope, he’d like to see it here. He’s hopeful that it will work. He wants to give people hope.” [The Sit Room With Evan Baehr, 4/7/20]
  • Senator Kelly Loeffler (GA): “I could not be more proud of how the president has handled” the coronavirus response. [YouTube, Senator Kelly Loeffler, 3/6/20]
  • Senator David Perdue (GA): But I give President Trump a lot of credit. I mean he recognized early [coronavirus] could be serious.” [Fox Business, Mornings With Maria, 3/5/20]
  • Senator Joni Ernst (IA): I think the administration has done quite well” on its coronavirus response. [Meet & Greet, 2/29/20]
  • Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY): I think the president is doing very, very well [on coronavirus]… I think he’ll keep it up, and I’m proud of the way he’s been handling it.” [Hugh Hewitt Show, 3/31/20]
  • Senator Susan Collins (ME): The president did a lot that was right in the beginning.” [Bangor Daily News, 4/2/20]
  • Senator Steve Daines (MT): “I’m confident in the president’s team here. The fact that they’ve got the right resources focused on that to bring this under control.” [KTVQ News, 3/9/20]
  • Senator Thom Tillis (NC):“I think the president’s taking every step he can to help the health and safety of the people in the United States.” [Twitter, @TheHill, 3/12/20]
  • Senator Lindsey Graham (SC): “President @realDonaldTrump laid out a very good roadmap to achieve economic stability and contain the spread of #coronavirus.” [Twitter, @LindseyGrahamSC, 3/11/20]
  • Senator John Cornyn (TX): “I think President Trump has been incredibly transparent, you know, people may not like him but I respect the fact that he’s been willing to have these press conferences.” [The Joe Pags Show, 4/14/20]

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