MEMORANDUM: Mary Taylor and Mike DeWine Slug It Out Heading Into Election Day
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: David Turner, DGA Deputy Communications Director
RE: Mary Taylor and Mike DeWine Slug It Out Heading Into Election Day
Mike DeWine and Mary Taylor are the latest Republican hopefuls to run a nasty primary focused on who has gratuitously praised Donald Trump the most. In fact, if you didn’t know they were running for governor, you would have thought they were trying out for a position as Trump’s best disciple.
It only gets clearer when you hear them talk about current governor, John Kasich. Despite both having served as part of his administration, Mary Taylor and Mike DeWine are running as fast as possible away from his administration.
This means, going into to tomorrow, you’ll have two GOP candidates who are going to have a hard time bringing the party together to win in the fall.
The media coverage tells the story.
“As primary season kicks into high gear, Republicans are engaged in nomination fights that are pulling the party to the right, leaving some leaders worried their candidates will be out of a step with the broader electorate in November.”
- Toledo Blade: DeWine, Taylor sling mud as primary election approaches
“As the two Republican candidates for Ohio governor tear into one another in TV ads, fighting over who is more anti-abortion, more pro-Trump, and more against sanctuary cities, Democrats are biding their time to resurrect those statements later.”
- Washington Post: Ohio: A political landscape upended by President Trump
“Taylor has sought to embrace Trump and cast DeWine as an establishment Republican. DeWine has tried to deflect those attacks by questioning whether she really supported Trump in the fall of 2016. But he is also mindful that he will need the support of Ohio Republicans and independents who don’t like the president to win the general election in November, if he wins the nomination on Tuesday.”
- Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio primary: The wacky, bitter battle to replace Gov. John Kasich
“Taylor unleashed a fiery speech against fellow Republicans as they endorsed DeWine, and her campaign put DeWine’s age in play by tweeting about the 71-year-old’s “nap time.” Similarly, DeWine’s campaign fired off a tweet about Taylor that used Trump’s phrase #LockHerUp – a move DeWine later said was a mistake.”
“Both DeWine and Taylor, in their ads, have tried to position themselves as allies of President Trump. Taylor has attended all three of the president’s trips to Ohio in the past year. While DeWine didn’t go to those events, he did travel to D.C. to take part in a meeting with the Trump Administration regarding opioids.”
“Lt. Gov. Taylor, who has draped herself in all things Trump and attempted to run to Attorney General DeWine’s right as “the only true conservative,” was deemed unworthy of mention as he talked of the front-running Democrat and the November election.”
“The GOP primary fight has been a nasty, sometimes personal affair, with DeWine’s campaign airing millions of dollars in TV commercials to counter Taylor’s claims in commercials that DeWine is a lackluster Trump supporter and was not a reliable “no” vote on pro-immigration issues in the U.S. Senate.”
“Primary election season is accelerating with 11 states holding elections in May. In GOP primaries, 1 question has become a litmus test for candidates: Who will be the most loyal to President Trump?”
The inevitable conclusion of this demolition derby of a primary was a knock down, drag down fight to the end. Mary Taylor is closing her campaign attaching Mike DeWine to Hillary Clinton while Mike DeWine is attacking Taylor for being insufficiently loyal to President Trump.
The winner will be bruised, bloodied, and attached at the hip to Donald Trump. While Ohio faces significant challenges – a sputtering economy, massive corruption scandals and an opioid crisis – Ohio’s GOP gubernatorial candidates have taken their eye off the ball. DeWine and Taylor are more focused on standing with Donald Trump than standing up for Ohio. And Ohio voters won’t forget it this November.