Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), like many of his fellow Republicans, talks the talk when it comes to President Donald Trump — but remains dedicated to enacting the president’s agenda.
According to an analysis published in the Charlotte Observer, Tillis has toed the line between verbal condemnation of the president’s propensity for “distracting” from policy and tangible legislative action against Trump in efforts to avoid alienating their shared base.
The Observer‘s report notes that Tillis spent much of the summer criticizing Trump, but when it comes to the work of legislation, he remains in line with him.
“I have not deviated once from any nomination or any vote that the president happens to be supportive of,” Tillis said. “This has more to do with tone and message and discipline.”
That legislative alignment has one catch, however — a bill Tillis introduced that adds protection to special counsel Robert Mueller in the case of Trump firing him.
“I try to eliminate distractions. I think some folks are trying to create additional distractions over the Russia investigation,” he said. “I don’t have any evidence to suggest the White House had any intention of doing it (firing Mueller), but it’s a helpful way for us to take it off the table.”
Tillis’ condemnations of the Trump’s rhetoric (as well as his introduction of the Special Counsel Integrity Act) are representative of a growing trend among GOP congresspeople who criticize the president on Twitter and in statements, but who continue to work with him and refuse the possibility of removing him from office.