Don’t mention Trump, GOP midterm campaign strategist tells candidates
- The House GOP campaign strategy chief reportedly urged candidates to avoid discussing Trump.
- Tom Emmer told candidates on major battlegrounds to focus on the issues that matter to Republican voters, per CNN.
- A GOP candidate told CNN he now avoids any mention of Trump’s name on the campaign trail.
The House GOP campaign strategy chief for the 2022 midterms has advised Republican candidates in key races to focus on political issues, not former President Donald Trump, according to CNN.
Citing three Republican sources familiar with inside conversations, CNN said Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota was encouraging vulnerable candidates to prioritize issues important to GOP voters.
A spokesperson for Emmer, chairman of the Republican National Committee of Congress, told CNN that candidates are advised to talk about inflation, crime and the Mexican border. According to the guidelines, Trump’s name should be avoided because he is not on the ballot for 2022, CNN reported.
Insider reached out to Emmer for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska agreed with the advice. “Tom Emmer and I think Kevin (McCarthy) and Steve (Scalise) are all saying we should focus on the issues — and they’re right,” he said, according to CNN.
“We should be focusing on 2022. If it’s 2024, it hurts us,” Bacon continued, according to the outlet. “We have to focus on winning in November, and I think anything that distracts you – it could cost us a few wins.”
It looks like candidates are taking notice. Several Republicans in battleground districts told CNN they avoided discussing Trump on the campaign trail. One candidate said he only spoke about the former president when asked about him directly.
Another said he avoided any mention of Trump’s name. “I never say his name. I just avoid saying his name in general,” the contestant said, per CNN. “I’m talking about his policies which I like.”
The insider’s Kimberly Leonard reported in July that GOP strategists feared Trump would announce a 2024 bid before the midterms in November. Capitol Hill Republicans fear an announcement could negatively impact the GOP’s chances, according to the report.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has pressured Trump not to announce his campaign launch, warning it could suck political oxygen into the room, Grace Panetta said. Insider.
Trump is now poised to launch his candidacy after the November election, an unnamed source told NBC News. Yet he is buoyed by the fundraising push and backing of GOP politicians following the FBI’s search for Mar-a-Lago.