President Donald Trump will visit 13 states in 7 weeks in a major push for tax reform, all of which are senate battlegrounds during the 2018 midterm elections. The White House strategy sends a clear message to both Republicans and Democrats: either get on board with the MAGA (Make America Great Again) agenda or get defeated.
The states from East to West include Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota and Montana. President Trump won all but New Jersey and Virginia in November, taking the Second Congressional District in Maine for the first time for a Republican since the 1980s.
The president has already made campaign-like stops in Missouri and North Dakota, two states with Democratic senators. But as with the debt ceiling deal, the president is indicating he will not rely solely on Republicans to get tax reform through Congress and, thus, not solely support Republicans if they stand in the way of delivering on his key campaign promises.
Following several big legislative failures by the Republican majority, the president has come to the conclusion he cannot solely rely on Republican to move his agenda forward. After promising to repeal ObamaCare for 7 years, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kty., failed to even deliver on a “skinny repeal” of the Democrat-supported health care law as individual markets collapse in states across the country.
President Trump will host a dinner at the White House Tuesday night for Sens. Joe Donnolly, D-Ind., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Joe Manchin, W.Va., Orrin Hatch, R-Ut., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and John Thune, R-S.D. In North Dakota, Sen. Heitkamp attended the event with the president, though it was not clear whether she would support tax reform.
In Springfield, Missouri, President Trump took aim at Sen. McCaskill, one of the most vulnerable incumbent Democrats who is seeking reelection to her third term in 2018.
“Millions of Americans have watched that prosperity slip away in the rear view mirror,” President Trump said of the longtime Clinton ally. “We must lower our taxes. And your senator Claire McCaskill, she must do this for you and if she doesn’t do it for you, you have to vote her out of office.”