Senate Brief: Republicans On Kavanaugh Assault Allegation: Ignore, Dismiss, Distract

Week of Monday, September 17.

IN BRIEF: A sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is putting Republican Senate candidates in a pickle.

After months of blind support for Kavanaugh’s nomination, GOP candidates will face increased scrutiny on a nominee they thought was airtight. And if their reactions so far are any indication, don’t hold your breath for Republicans to do the honorable thing.

Josh Hawley was dogged by questions from reporters after the first Missouri Senate debate last Friday. Asked about the allegation, Hawley said the Senate should move forward and vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Asked “Do you believe the woman?,” he refused to answer and made a quick exit.
Dean Heller doubled down on his support for Kavanaugh in a local radio interview conducted hours after the allegation was made public, saying “America will be better off” […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: Healthcare Looms Large for GOP Senate Candidates

Week of Monday, September 10.

IN BRIEF: After nearly a decade of thwarted efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are showing no signs of letting up — even as voters say healthcare is top of mind this election cycle. Let’s break it down:

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows strong support for key elements of the Affordable Care Act, specifically the law’s guaranteed protections for pre-existing conditions coverage. A whopping 75% of the public polled say it is “very important” that the ACA’s pre-existing conditions protections remain law.

Meanwhile, 20 Republican state Attorneys General are engaged in a lawsuit against the federal government, the outcome of which could invalidate the ACA, including the protections for pre-existing conditions coverage. State Attorneys General Josh Hawley and Patrick Morrisey are co-counsels on the suit and many other GOP candidates have expressed support for the litigation.

And […]

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NEW: While He Thought We Weren’t Looking, Matt Rosendale Scrubbed “Rancher” From His Campaign

 Montana voters know the difference between a rancher and a cow pie

“After years of pretending, even Rosendale himself recognizes he can no longer credibly claim to be a Montana rancher,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “We’d have redrafted his Twitter bio a little differently, though — maybe ‘erstwhile State Auditor, Maryland developer, brand-new barn jacket-wearer’?”

Talking Points Memo: Montana GOP Senate Candidate Quietly Scrubs ‘Rancher’ From His Campaign
By Cameron Joseph | September 6, 2018

“Montana’s GOP Senate nominee used to routinely, if inaccurately, brag that he was a ‘rancher.’ But he seems to have backed away from the term in recent months following questions about his experience.”
“Matt Rosendale is the state’s auditor and the Republican nominee challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). In the past months, his campaign has moved slowly and steadily to deemphasize his ranching claims.”
“The most recent, and boldest, example: […]

Read more after the jump.

Virtually Every Republican Senate Candidate Is Lying About Pre-Existing Conditions

“Republican Senate candidates’ pathetic excuses for protecting pre-existing conditions coverage are a master class in political pandering,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Republicans are hoping voters aren’t paying attention to their long record of deception on this issue. We’re here to make sure every voter between now and Election Day learns just how empty Republican promises are.”

Huffington Post: GOP Senate Candidates Are Scrambling To Rewrite Their Record On Pre-Existing Conditions
By Jonathan Cohn and Kevin Robillard | September 2, 2018

Josh Hawley “says he is all about making sure anybody can get health insurance, regardless of their medical status: ‘We need to cover pre-existing conditions,’ he said earlier this summer.”
But Hawley “is one of the 20 state officials who has signed onto a new lawsuit seeking to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of coverage, which they argue is unconstitutional. Hawley is also […]

Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: Trump’s Trade War is Damaging Republicans’ Senate Chances

Week of Monday, July 23

IN BRIEF: In battleground states across the country, Trump’s reckless trade war is slamming key midterm voters — and throwing a wrench into Republican Senate candidates’ chances.

In North Dakota, Rep. Kevin Cramer is increasingly choosing his political allies over his thousands of suffering constituents. Trump’s reckless tariffs “threaten the livelihoods of local farmers and the state’s small manufacturing sector.” A 25% price drop in soybeans — North Dakota’s #1 export — has spurred a fully fledged crisis.
In Indiana, Rep. Mike Braun has hewn closely to Trump’s reckless line on trade. But dozens of brutal headlines about the consequences of the trade war won’t go unnoticed as voters look for candidates who will stand up for their interests.
And in Missouri, Attorney General Josh Hawley has  Read more after the jump.

Senate Brief: Rick Scott’s Toxic Algae Nightmare

Week of Monday, July 16, 2018

IN BRIEF: Rick Scott’s policies are poisoning Florida’s waterways with toxic algae, forcing businesses to close and families to evacuate — and even stopping one church from performing baptisms

The blue-green algae grows in Central Florida’s Lake Okeechobee because of years of Rick Scott’s negligent environmental policies that put special interest polluters first. The algae releases dangerous, foul-smelling vapors, is dangerous to touch and is toxic to ingest. Commerce along the affected waterways is brought to a standstill.
Rick Scott has a seven-year record of putting special interests ahead of Florida’s environment. He’s kicked the can down the road on toxic algae for seven years, kowtowing to his wealthy financial backers; he’s advocated for drilling off the Florida coast; he’s banned state government from even uttering the words “climate change”; and he’s weakened oversight of polluters.
That’s why Florida newspapers are blaming Rick Scott for the crisis. Sun-Sentinel says Scott is “to […]

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Failure of Leadership: Voters Will Hold GOP Senate Candidates Accountable For Backing Family Separations

Kevin Cramer Admits His Stand Will Hurt Him: “I Know It Perhaps Sounds Not Very Compassionate”

While a majority of Americans watched the news of family separations with horror, Republican Senate candidates — scared of antagonizing their pro-Trump base — have spent the week cheerleading for Trump’s indefensible policy.

Candidates have doubled down as Trump has continued lying — alternately blaming their Democratic opponents, liberals, and “laws” for a policy entirely of Trump’s own creation that cruelly separates migrant children from their parents.

“The sight of of children being torn away from their parents is so painful it transcends partisan politics. Republican Senate candidates who have failed to call out this kind of cruelty are going to face furious voters of all parties in November,” said American Bridge spokesperson Joshua Karp.

Here’s what some of them had to say:

Corey Stewart (R-VA): “I think that’s the right policy. Now, the fact is we do have to enforce […]

Read more after the jump.

Running Scared: Rosendale’s First Two Weeks as Nominee

We know one GOP Senate candidate who’s saying TGIF today. Matt Rosendale has been on the ballot in Montana less than ten days — and he’s managed to rack up dozens of bad headlines that have tarnished his nascent general election campaign.

First, Rosendale barely escaped a nasty primary that branded him as an out of state carpetbagger and fake rancher:

Missoula Current: Fagg: Rosendale is “all hat and no cattle”
AP: Rosendale not the “first choice” for Republicans
Vox: “Rosendale lacks something important that can’t be bought: He isn’t originally from Montana.”
Washington Post: “GOP operatives fear the Maryland-born Rosendale could be vulnerable to charges that he is not Montanan enough.”
Politico: “Rosendale moved to Montana in 2002 and still speaks with an accent from his native Maryland.”

Then, Rosendale backed out of a scheduled debate with Sen. Jon Tester in […]

Read more after the jump.

VIDEO: Maryland Developer Matt Rosendale Runs Away From Questions About His Rancher Lies

Maryland developer Matt Rosendale fled Montana to escape reports of his fake ranching — and ran straight into the arms of Washington’s wealthy political elite. We caught up with him at his DC fundraiser to ask a few questions about his record of lies. Spoiler alert — he didn’t answer a single one.

Here are some of the questions Matt Rosendale refused to answer as he was headed to his Washington fundraiser:

How many cattle do you own?
Have you ever owned cattle in your life?
Your horses, do they work or do you just show them?
Are you a rancher, or do you just own land?

Unfortunately for Rosendale, the door to his fundraiser was locked, so he had extra time to answer questions about his life as a fake rancher. Instead, he ran away.

Watch Maryland Developer Matt Rosendale run away from questions about his lies about being a Montana rancher:

Read more after the jump.

QUICK CLIP: Matt Rosendale Steps In It Again

Matt Rosendale really can’t keep his facts straight. He already got caught posing as a rancher. Then he lied about his first debate with Sen. Jon Tester. Now, after he bailed on the same debate, he’s been caught lying again — this time about his excuse that he’d never planned to attend the debate in the first place.

Montana’s KECI reports:

     Reporter: “Just last week, Rosendale told us he’d make the Broadcasters debate.” 

     Rosendale: “You’ll see me in Whitefish.”

     Reporter: “Now, just days later, Rosendale’s campaign sticks with the decision to not participate Sunday. In the statement Rosendale says he’s spending Father’s Day with his wife and sons.”

Watch KECI call out Rosendale’s flip-flop here:

Watch the full report here.

Read more after the jump.