‘We may get clubbed like baby seals in 2018’: State GOP officials are in a panic over Trump’s ‘chaos’
As Donald Trump heads overseas for his first major trip as president, Republicans at the state level are looking at the wreckage he is leaving behind and wondering if he will kill the party before the 2018 midterms.
According to the Washington Post, state GOP officials are worried that Trump’s problems –ranging from investigations into Russian involvement with his campaign to his stunning firing of FBI Director James Comey — are pushing important Republican election year promises to the side.
According to a longtime GOP consultant who backed Trump before the 2016 election, the president’s Russia problems have cast a shadow over everything and nothing Trump promised on the campaign trail is being accomplished.
“There were a lot of things that were promised to be done, and we’re just getting a lot of noise out of Washington,” said North Carolina’s Marc Rotterman. “It seems it’s Russia 24-7. When you’re reacting and defending, you’re not moving on your agenda. You’re not fixing day-to-day problems for average Americans.”
Rotterman added that candidates for state office are “counting on him” to get back to meat and potato issues that drive local campaigns, but worries Trump is too distracted by his scandals to get back on message.
Florida GOP consultant John McKager Stipanovich concurs, saying if Trump doesn’t follow through on his campaign promises to repeal Obamacare and cut taxes, it will disastrous when the next election cycle comes around.
“If after all of the talk, after all of the chest-thumping, we can’t get anything done, we may get clubbed like baby seals in 2018,” explained Stipanovich.
Among other issues worrying Republicans is the fact that 36 states have governor’s races next year, with incumbents and GOP challengers alike likely to be put in the awkward position of having to defend Trump — the face of the party – or rebuke him and anger his most loyal followers.
Additionally there may be the awkwardness of Trump offering to campaign for a local Republican — only to have the candidate ask the president of the United States to stay away.
Jennifer Horn, the former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party has a dour prediction for the GOP if Trump is still fighting for his political life and not for campaign promises that propelled him to the presidency.
“We cannot sustain this level of chaos from the White House and expect it will be anything less than a tragic outcome on Election Day,” Horn lamented to the Washington Post.