On Wednesday, writing for The Washington Post, Robert Costa outlined how the President's erratic attempts to downplay his own COVID-19 infection, coupled with his meddling in badly-needed economic stimulus talks, have finally done something that once seemed impossible: turn Republicans in Congress against him.
"Facing a political reckoning as Trump’s support plummets and a possible blue tsunami looms, it is now conservatives and Trump allies who are showing flashes of discomfort with the president, straining to stay in the good graces of his core voters without being wholly defined by an erratic incumbent," said the report. "For some Republicans, the 11th-hour repositioning may not be enough to stave off defeat. But the criticism, however muted, illuminates the extent of the crisis inside of a party that is growing alarmed about its political fate and confused by Trump’s tweets and decision-making."
“It’s a Republican Party unraveling,” historian Douglas Brinkley told the Post. “They’re seeking to rid themselves of Trump at this juncture but realize they can’t quite yet. But they know his name is no longer kinetic on the campaign trail.” One senior Republican official even compared the fallout to that of the "Access Hollywood" tape in 2016, the only other time Republicans appeared on the verge of abandoning Trump to his fate.
The trend is particularly evident among vulnerable incumbents trying to win re-election in November.
"Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), a conservative in a tight race and close to GOP leaders, said this week that Trump 'let his guard down' and 'got out over his skis' by playing down the threat of the coronavirus," said the report. Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "tweeted on Wednesday that he did not agree with Trump’s decision to stop negotiating with Pelosi until after the election" and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), said, “Waiting until after the election to reach an agreement on the next covid-19 relief package is a huge mistake.”
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