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Trump Comes to SC to Bail Out Vulnerable McMaster

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Governor Losing the Fundraising Battle in Tight Primary

 When South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster endorsed President Trump, he probably didn’t think he would need to ask Trump to return the favor so soon.

And yet here we are. More than eight months from primary day, the president is already campaigning with McMaster. Trump’s trip to South Carolina couldn’t come soon enough for the McMaster, whose campaign is flailing in the wind:

  • The Republican primary is tight: McMaster failed to clear the field, which now includes formidable opponents Catherine Templeton, and his own lieutenant governor, Kevin Bryant. Republicans are clearly not intimidated. Candidates have been forced to stake out far-right positions like fighting over personhood legislation and returning $2 billion in federal education funding.
  • McMaster’s fundraising effort is lagging: Rumors of poor fundraising have swirled around the campaign for months. McMaster supporters had their fears confirmed in last week’s campaign finance reports showing Templeton had eclipsed McMaster.
  • McMaster has been plagued by scandal: Ever since he took office, McMaster has dealt with scandals. On day one, his governorship was mired in scandal over McMaster’s refusal to leave his all-white country club. Then McMaster was forced to part ways with his long-time political consultant who is at the center of a widespread investigation into corruption at the statehouse. More recently McMaster received bipartisan criticism for his handling of the failed nuclear project that could leave taxpayers on the hook for billions. And a new report over the weekend shows that the utility company actively tried to get close to McMaster as the project went south.

It’s no wonder people are starting to make comparisons between McMaster and Luther Strange, Trump’s last failed endorsement.

 “Make no mistake, Henry McMaster is already desperate for Trump’s help in this messy primary,” DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “McMaster’s lagging campaign combined with his troubling ethics issues left the door wide open for his opponents. Trump’s visit is just the beginning of what will be a long bruising Republican primary.”