Trump Claims Credit For Shock Dem Win In Pennsylvania




Trump Claims Credit For Shock Dem Win In Pennsylvania
Trump Claims Credit For Shock Dem Win In Pennsylvania  

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump downplayed the significance of the Democratic victory in the special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District on Wednesday, claiming that Conor Lamb won because he tried to be "like Trump."

Lamb, a political newcomer, was projected to defeat state Rep. Rick Saccone in Tuesday's election, although the margin was thin. It was a staggering show of Democratic strength in a deep-red Pennsylvania congressional district that Trump won by almost 20 points in 2016.

"The young man last night that ran, he said, 'Oh, I'm like Trump. Second Amendment, everything. I love the tax cuts, everything.' He ran on that basis," Trump said at a fundraiser in Missouri on Wednesday, according to The Atlantic. "He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me. I said, 'Is he a Republican? He sounds like a Republican to me.'"

Lamb, in fact, ran against the GOP-passed tax cut law. And even conservative groups realized that the signature achievement of the Republican Congress wasn't resonating with voters; they shifted away from that issue as the campaign went on. Saccone, however, tried to sell himself as a politician in the mold of Trump.

Just last weekend, Trump campaigned outside of Pittsburgh for GOP candidate Rick Saccone, a state senator whose message was built on support of Trump and his policies. But what typically would have been an easy GOP victory on Tuesday evening became a narrow race between Saccone and Lamb that stretched into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Lamb declared victory, leading by only a few hundred votes. By Wednesday evening, he was projected to win as the remaining absentee, provisional and military ballots would not have been enough for Saccone to surpass Lamb.

Trump claimed Wednesday that he "lifted [Saccone] 7 points up," although it's not clear how he came up with that number.

"It's actually interesting, because it's only a congressman for five months," Trump added, downplaying the results. Because of redistricting, the 18th District will exist in its current form only until the end of the year. Lamb's hometown will be shifted into a new district, an area where Trump would have won by just 3 percentage points.

Saccone's projected loss would add to a string of embarrassing Republican performances in special elections as the 2018 midterm primaries loom. Trump has distanced himself from previous GOP special election losers, including Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was upset by Democrat Doug Jones.

The southwestern Pennsylvania congressional district, a traditional GOP bastion that includes the affluent south suburbs of Pittsburgh and rural towns in former coal country, became vacant late last year, when former Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) resigned after pressuring a woman with whom he had an affair to get an abortion.

Republicans had invested vast time and energy trying to prevent a close race against Lamb, who gained support in part by distancing himself from national Democrats and staking out more conservative positions.

In addition to Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and two of Trump's children, Donald Trump Jr. and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, had visited the area in recent weeks to drum up support for Saccone.

By Tuesday night, as a closer-than-expected race appeared likely, Republicans were already coming up with various reasons to blame Saccone and downplay the results, with one GOP strategist complaining about the candidate's facial hair.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah suggested to reporters Wednesday that Trump should take credit for helping Saccone ― a message similar to what the president said at the fundraiser later that night.

"The president's engagement in the race turned what was a deficit for the Republican candidate to what is essentially a tie," he said.

But Saccone was widely predicted to win the traditionally GOP district.

Shah also claimed that Lamb won because he "really embraced the president's policies and his vision."

Under Pennsylvania law, this congressional election does not automatically trigger a recount. Saccone could petition for a recount within five days.

Amanda Terkel contributed reporting.

COMMENTS

More Related News

The Latest: White House reaches out to Kentucky students
The Latest: White House reaches out to Kentucky students

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The Latest on reaction from an encounter between white teenagers, Native American marchers and a black religious sect outside the Lincoln Memorial last week. (all times local):

Senate Leaders Agree on Possible Path to Reopening Government
Senate Leaders Agree on Possible Path to Reopening Government

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer have agreed to a deal that could end the partial government shutdown, which entered its 32nd day Tuesday. Under the deal, the Senate will vote Thursday on two bills intended to end the shutdown. One bill includes President Trump's request for $5.7 billion to construct a wall at the southern border, and one would fund the government entities affected by the shutdown through February 8, kicking the fight down the road until then.

Supreme Court allows Trump's partial military ban on transgender people in military to take effect
Supreme Court allows Trump's partial military ban on transgender people in military to take effect

The Supreme Court will allow Trump's partial ban on transgender people serving in the military to take effect while court challenges continue.

3 groups, many videos, many interpretations of DC encounter
3 groups, many videos, many interpretations of DC encounter

Dozens of white Catholic high school students visiting Washington for a rally to end abortion. At first the focus was on a short video showing one of the high school students, Nick Sandmann, wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat and appearing to smirk while a crowd of other teens laughed

Giuliani backtracks on comments Trump sought Moscow deal throughout 2016
Giuliani backtracks on comments Trump sought Moscow deal throughout 2016

Giuliani told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that Trump may have continued to pursue the project and had discussions about it with his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, until as late as October or November 2016, when Trump was closing in on his election victory over Democrat Hillary

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.