November 15, 2017

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TEXAS TWO-STEP: At RGA Conference, Govs. Walker and Scott Back Away From Trump

Rick Scott in 2016: ‘Donald Trump has America’s pulse’ 

Scott in 2017:  Asked if Trump will be an asset: ‘We’ll see what happens in 2018.’

We’re one day into the RGA’s conference in Lone Star State, and the “Trump Two-Step” has never been more popular. Republican governors who recently gushed with support for President Trump are suddenly backing away – fearful of repeating their 2017 electoral failures next year.

RGA Chair Gov. Scott Walker and Vice-Chair Gov. Rick Scott held a press conference in which “repeatedly deflected” questions about the liability Trump presents for 2018 candidates. They also downplayed the importance of campaigning with the president.

It’s quite a reversal from their previous statements of glowing support for Trump and his agenda. In 2016, Gov. Scott wrote an op-ed titled “Donald Trump has America’s pulse.” And just this summer, Walker defended Trump, claiming people outside of Washington “still like his policies.”

There’s reason for them to be nervous. The RGA lost both Virginia and New Jersey by huge margins this year despite investing well over $10 million into the races. And Democratic enthusiasm is surging around the country.

“Republican governors are terrified of the havoc that Donald Trump will wreak in 2018,”  said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Just months ago, Scott Walker and Rick Scott were singing Trump’s praises, but now they’re telling candidates to get off a sinking ship before it’s too late. Republicans candidates around the country are all going to have to decide where they stand – quick.”