President Trump Pledges Loyalty to Establishment Incumbents in 2018


After the GOP confab at Camp David over the weekend, the President reportedly vowed not to support primary challengers against GOP incumbents. Early in his administration Trump’s Twitter feed often included threats to back primary opponents against those in Congress who didn’t do what he wanted them to,

Mr. Trump discussed with Republican lawmakers their strategy for the midterm elections, with the president saying he won’t campaign for any insurgent Republicans who are challenging GOP incumbents in primaries.

“I don’t see that happening,” Mr. Trump said.

This should have the pro-Trump 12-D chess experts coming up with lots of theories about why the anti-establishment outsider would promise not to back insurgents against what his followers often treat as the enemy within. It’s considered by many to be the height of disloyalty to criticize Trump, while attacking the McConnells and Ryans in the GOP is necessary and laudable.

Trump may be reacting to the embarrassment of backing Roy Moore in the Alabama special U.S. Senate election.

He pointed to the lesson of last month’s special Senate election in Alabama, where Republican Roy Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones. Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, at the behest of estranged former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.


The “chief strategeist whom Trump said “was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue” somehow steered the President into endorsing a loser. That sounds like a classic “those responsible have been sacked” line of bull, primarily because it is.

“You had somebody that lost us the state of Alabama,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “That should never have been lost. We have the right policy, we have the right everything. You still need a good candidate. You don’t have a good candidate, you’re just not going to win.”


Never mind.

Ultimately, the promise not to support insurgent candidates is worth about as much as any Trump promise. There is always a lot of fine print and escape clauses available.


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