NBC’s First Read is out with a piece that examines how lawmakers in Congress continue to quietly NOT give Trump everything he wants and outside groups NOT happy about Trump’s continued push for a trade war….
The problem is that it appears that Republican voters STILL support Trump no matter how crazy his tweets and requests are….
Ninety-nine days until the all-important midterm elections, Republican lawmakers and outside groups are beginning to distance themselves from President Trump — in ways both small and big. The latest to break away: the Koch Brothers.
“Top leaders of the conservative Koch political network, frustrated with the direction of the Republican Party, are attempting to rebrand the organization by vowing to be less partisan and work with elected officials across the political spectrum to advance their policy priorities,” NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell writes. “In a rare interview with reporters, a reflective Charles Koch spoke about ‘mistakes’ he and his network have made in the past, alluding to the strictly partisan playbook that the organization has deployed for more than a decade.”
More: “When asked if he blames the president for divisiveness, Koch said, ‘I’m into hating the sin not the sinner.’ But his top brass were more direct. ‘The divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage,’ Brian Hooks, co-chair of the Seminar Network, told reporters. ‘And so that’s why we say there’s a lack of leadership and there’s an opportunity for this network to step up and express a positive vision on the issues to help people improve their lives.’”
“‘You see this on trade,’ Hook said. ‘In order to get to a good place on the debate, you have to convince the American people that trade is bad. You see it on immigration, in order to get to a good policy,” Hooks said, “You have to convince people that immigrants are bad. That’s not a sustainable tactic or achieving good policy.’”
Two things can be true: More Republican voters than ever approve of Trump’s job performance, according to the latest NBC/WSJ poll. And on a variety of issues — tariffs, immigration, Trump’s dealings with Russia — we are seeing Republican lawmakers breaking from the president on key policies and issues. And that’s no small thing.
Of course, in the summer and fall of 2016, Republicans were busy distancing themselves from Trump (over the “Access Hollywood” video, the attacks on the Khan family, the attacks on Judge Curiel). And it all worked out for Trump and the GOP.
But you always want to be more unified — rather than less unified — heading into an election…..