‘That’s what happens with an unpopular president’: GOP allies flee Trump as his poll numbers take a nosedive
Faced with historic low poll numbers after only slightly more than 70 days in office, President Donald Trump is becoming more isolated as fellow Republicans distance themselves from the chief executive after a string of policy failures.
According to the Washington Post, Trump’s unorthodox governing style along with his unfamiliarity about how bills get passed has lawmakers from his own party moving away from him, with a former White House official stating, “That’s what happens when you have an unpopular president.”
Following the failure of Trumpcare to even reach the floor of the House for a vote due to pushback from the hardline Republican Freedom Caucus, the president has launched attacks on the members — including having his social media director call for one member to be defeated at the polls.
With Trump making no effort to reach out to Democrats, and the president surrounding himself with family members including his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump seems to be making more enemies than friends in Washington D.C.
“He seems both politically and personally isolated these days,” explained former White House adviser David Gergen. “He’s flailing because he doesn’t know where to find his natural allies.”
“Part of it is self-imposed,” agreed former RNC Chairman Michael Steele told the Post. “People know him, they see him at meetings, but it’s been hard for people in Congress and around it to get to know him in a way that’s helpful for Trump.”
This past week Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh resigned from the White House to work with an outside group created to help the president smooth the waters with lawmakers and get Republicans back in line.
Despite that, Trump’s unpredictability makes it hard for Republicans to fully get behind the president whose poll numbers are collapsing as his administration is dogged by investigations and petty squabbles.
According to former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, Trump’s popularity collapse makes it easy for Republicans to tend to their own business and challenge the president without worry that he can hurt their reelection prospects.
“That’s what happens when you have an unpopular president … popularity scares people,” Fleischer explained. “Lack of popularity emboldens them.”