NORTH DAKOTA | ND-sen

Heitkamp Balancing Support, Opposition to Trump

Cramer is pitching himself as a closer friend to the president.

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Nia Prater
June 11, 2018, 10:31 a.m.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) "is maneuvering herself at once as an ally of the Republican president on policy, and a polite opponent at other times."

Heitkamp: “If you simply focus on resistance, if that’s your sole motivation and purpose, I don’t know how you’d ever get anything done."

“Heitkamp’s record of championing some of Trump’s proudest deregulation moves has frustrated Republicans, who would like nothing more than to paint her as obstructing the president, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has promised to do. Instead, Heitkamp’s Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer is competing with the incumbent to stand out as the better friend to Trump. It’s a tack that Heitkamp says overstates Trump’s popularity.”

Cramer: "She has a big dilemma. On one hand, she wants to portray herself in North Dakota as a Trump supporter. On the other hand, she wants to be a Democrat and not torque off her big-money, liberal friends. People aren’t falling for it."

Heitkamp insists that, even though she won’t directly oppose the president, she doesn’t necessarily agree with everything he does: “Do I want to have a relationship so I can pick up the phone and talk about things like farm policy, trade policy? Yeah. I think that’s in the best interest of North Dakota. I say if you want someone who is going to vote with the president 100 percent of the time, that’s not going to be me. Because I don’t think he’s 100 percent right." (AP)

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