‘She won a write-in in her race. The last time that had happened was 1954. She knows her state…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Senate Republicans are asking President Donald Trump to go easy on Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, after he threatened to campaign against her reelection effort.
Last week, Trump suggested that he would launch a campaign against Murkowski if she decided to run again in 2022, arguing that he’d be willing to back anyone with a “pulse” over her.
Few people know where they’ll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska (which I love) campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski. She voted against HealthCare, Justice Kavanaugh, and much else…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2020
His comments drew the ire of concerned Republicans. Some want Murkowski, who sides with the Democratic Party almost as often as she sides with her own colleagues, to keep her seat.
“I’d leave Lisa alone. She’s a member of our conference, and we want to keep it that way,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., according to The Hill.
While Thune is, himself, a frequent aisle-straddler, some of Trump’s more vocal allies also weighed in to show solidarity with their congressional colleague.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, also said he doesn’t support Trump’s threat “at all.”
That may change if Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate who became an early beacon of the Tea Party movement, were to challenge Murkowski in the GOP primary during her 2022 re-election bid.
Nonetheless, Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., pointed out that, logistically, Murkowski would be tough to beat.
“She won a write-in in her race. The last time that had happened was 1954,” Barrasso said. “She knows her state.”
Murkowski applauded former Marine Gen. James Mattis, who accused the president of dividing the country, for criticizing Trump last week, claiming Mattis’s words were “true, and honest and necessary and overdue.”
When asked if Trump’s threat made her rethink her support of Mattis, Murkowski said she stands by her comments.
“I made the comments that I made,” Murkowski told CNN on Monday.
“I stand by them. Again, I think it’s important that we have a president who is working to bring people together,” she continued.” … And tone and words matter. I cannot live in fear of a tweet. That’s where I am now.”