President Trump put Republicans' midterm performance in historical perspective Wednesday, picking out positive results in the House, highlighting big governor and Senate wins that he undoubtedly helped with, and comparing it all to 2010.
But his extended White House news conference lacked the kind of self-reflection President Obama displayed the morning after the Democratic “shellacking” eight years ago and was absent of any personal responsibility for the losses of suburban Republicans across the country—whose defeats handed Democrats the House majority.
It was just the opposite in fact, as he unveiled a shit-list he’d kept of GOP members who were forced politically to show some daylight between themselves and the president and yet still lost. “Too bad, Mike,” Trump said, referring to Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado, who has survived tough challenges every two years but couldn’t tread water in a referendum on Trump.
“Mia Love gave me no love,” Trump said of the second-term lawmaker, whose Utah district gave Trump just 39 percent of the vote in 2016. “Peter Roskam didn’t want the embrace. Erik Paulsen didn’t want the embrace,” he said of the Illinois and Minnesota congressmen, whom Democrats came up short against in election after election until now.
The open seats didn’t help. Speaker Paul Ryan’s retirement wasn’t beneficial to the cause. And the midterms followed historical precedent. But this was all about Trump, for better and worse for Republicans.
-- Kyle Trygstad