Jared Leopold, 202-772-5600
The GOP’s election anxiety was on full display this past weekend National Governors Association conference in Santa Fe. But don’t just take our word for it.
The New York Times reported, “there was no mistaking the deflated demeanor of a number of [Republican] governors in Santa Fe.”
And here’s what the Republican governors themselves had to say (when they weren’t too busy trying to hide from the press):
- “It does feel very much like 2010 reverse to me right now. There’s a lot more conviction about voting on the Democrat side than our side, which is a concern to us.” -Republican Governors Association Chair Governor Bill Haslam.
- “Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who won the governorship on the strength of the 2010 Obama backlash, bluntly acknowledged he and other Republicans could be facing ‘a blue wave,’ noting that ‘the wind nationally isn’t at our back.’”
- “‘There’s energy on the left, there’s anger on the left and there’s some signs of organization,’ said Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, who is facing a competitive re-election bid.”
- “Those who did come were candid about the difficulties Mr. Trump’s divisive behavior and nationalist policies on issues like trade and immigration had created for the party. ‘Every ad is about immigration or a border wall,’ Mr. Haslam, who is leaving office next year, said with dismay about the Republican primary to succeed him. ‘The conversation has changed.’”
- “Republican governors at the summer meeting in New Mexico — largely those in safe races or not on the ballot this year — also said they feared the party could face blowback over Trump on the state level. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert criticized Trump’s refusal to blame Russia for meddling in the 2016 election. ‘I don’t know whether he believed that or it just came out of his mouth without a filter and now he’s going back and changing his mind, I don’t know,’ Herbert said. He also pointed to the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies — including family separations at the border — as politically problematic. ‘We’re a little bit more moderate in Utah than some of the rhetoric that’s out there,’ Herbert said.
- “South Dakota Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he fears the political fallout of a trade war in rural states. ‘I worry that our trade imbalances and the aluminum and steel are resulting in problems for our farmers.’”