President Donald Trump has doubled down and doubled down on stoking paranoid fantasies about an immigrant “invasion” — and Republicans are increasingly concerned he’ll cost them the midterm election.
Some House Republicans privately complain the president has given up on them to focus on GOP Senate candidates, and they believe his anti-immigrant message will help Senate candidates in rural red states but hurt them in suburban House districts, reported Politico.
“Trump has hijacked the election,” said one senior House Republican aide. “This is not what we expected the final weeks of the election to focus on.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is leaving Congress when his term ends in January, begged Trump on Sunday to promote the economy in the final hours before Election Day — but the president insisted that his focus on immigration had fired up the GOP base, according to a source familiar with the phone call.
“His honing in on this message is going to cost us seats,” said one senior House GOP campaign source. “The people we need to win in these swing districts that will determine the majority, it’s not the Trump base; it’s suburban women, or people who voted for [Hillary] Clinton or people who are not hard Trump voters.”