NBC’s Chuck Todd questioned whether GOP candidates with “difficult” races ahead of them in the midterm elections would actually welcome campaign help from President Donald Trump.
“Believe it or not, it’s not still the 2016 election. We are 100 days until 2018. I know we’ll be fighting the 2016 election for the rest of our lives at this point,” Todd said on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” as he shared a clip of Trump speaking about what he plans to do in the last 60 days of this election year.
“I’ll go six or seven days a week when we’re 60 days out, and I will be campaigning for all of these great people that do have a difficult race,” the president told Sean Hannity on his radio show last week.
“All these great people that have the most difficult race, do you think they want Donald Trump campaigning for them?” Todd asked Matthew Joseph Continetti, conservative journalist and editor-in-chief of The Washington Free Beacon.
“It depends on where they live,” Continetti replied. “The closer they are to a city or a suburb, the less likely they are to want the president to come campaign for them.”
Trump is not one to “cede the argument to his opponents or to allow them to even voice their criticism,” Continetti added, noting that he thinks the president will not only be taking “a very active role” in the midterms but will also make it about him.
“The truth is that may actually lead to a Republican advantage,” Continetti said, explaining that Trump’s “presence may actually inspire” voters if he “nationalizes” the election.
The hosts of “Fox & Friends” on Sunday echoed the sentiment, urging GOP candidates who want victory in the 2018 midterms to “aggressively” support Trump on issues like immigration and the economy.
Pointing out other candidates who have succeeded after backing the president, Abby Huntsman, Griff Jenkins, and Pete Hegseth weighed in on the chances Republicans had of winning seats in November if they support Trump and his agenda for America.
Pointing to races like Brian Kemp in Georgia and Martha Roby in Alabama, Jenkins noted how the once Trump-critic Roby “came around” to support Trump and won the “game changer” in her race.
“Why is that?” Huntsman interjected. “They realize that if they move closer the president, a lot of people are liking some of his policies and things that are happening in this country.”
She cited a recent Rasmussen poll showing that 64 percent of likely GOP voters find Trump’s views are closely aligned with their own.
“If you are running as a Republican for congress or for senate, you probably want to associate yourself– I mean a lot of it depends on where you live, and what the local politics are,” she said. “But in large part, I would say, siding with the president on some of these issues might benefit you.”
“Most Republicans now are on Team Trump essentially,” Jenkins agreed, noting other polls with similar findings.
“It’s a wake-up call if you’re a candidate out there and you’re on the fence you may want to consider supporting even more aggressively,” he said. “President Trump, by all accounts, I think, has pretty much taken over the Republican party.”
“Of course,” Hegseth laughed. “If you’re running for office and running away from this president in a Republican primary, you’re in a bad bad spot.”
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