Many conservative activists are pushing back against President Trump, stating that if he doesn’t keep his campaign promises, he faces a real danger in the form of next year’s midterm elections.
Conservative leaders point to concerns with Trump’s failure to repeal Obamacare, disappointment that he’s yet to defund Planned Parenthood, and frustration over immigration policies, including not taking any steps toward ending Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
L. Brent Bozell III, chairman of the conservative advocacy group ForAmerica, said, “Someone’s got to take responsibility. They no longer have excuses to not do things.” He also warned that Trump needs to energize his base.
Roy Beck, president of Numbers USA, which is a group dedicated to reduced immigration levels, said of DACA, “There’s [sic] lots and lots of question marks. It starts with his broken promise on DACA. He made such an explicit promise on repealing DACA on Day One.”
“If they don’t do it, I absolutely guarantee you that conservatives will walk,” he added.
Other conservative leaders are not happy with what they call the president’s flip on the Export-Import Bank, a move Trump touted as a “very good thing” this week.
Andrew Roth, vice president of government affairs at Club for Growth — a conservative group that frequently criticizes Trump — said, “I think that’s a tragic mistake on his part.”
Roth said of Trump, “He needs to follow through on those conservative promises to have the GOP’s enthusiasm match the Democrats.”
Conservatives worry Trump will pay a political price during the 2018 midterm elections, as well as suffer an enthusiasm gap between the parties.
Liberals who oppose Trump currently have momentum, so both parties are closely watching a special election that will take place in Georgia next week to see if a Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff, can ride left-wing enthusiasm to take an upset victory in a large GOP field.
Even Trump’s decision to launch a missile strike against Syria is facing a backlash from some conservatives.
Former Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), who was a member of the Freedom Caucus and the Foreign Affairs Committee while serving in the House, said, “I understand that the surgical strike that he did was the president’s prerogative, but I think most conservatives expect that if he does anything further he’ll come to Congress for a vote.”
Brian Darling, a conservative strategist who served as an aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), warned, “If this is the beginning of a long-term engage in Syria, then that’s a whole other thing and I think conservatives will be outraged that we’re going down the same road of nation-building that President Trump campaigned against.”
While some of Trump’s recent appointments and reversals, such as successfully confirming Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and backing away from labeling China as a currency manipulator, have won praise from the GOP, Roth says his record is a “mixed bag” and will be greatly shaped by what happens next with Obamacare.
House Republicans are working over the April break to revive their repeal efforts, which are predicted to include language to defund Planned Parenthood.
“I think we’re very close to seeing the repeal of Obamacare. We’re going to see for the first time in that repeal bill the defunding of Planned Parenthood,” predicts Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a group dedicated to promoting “faith, family, and freedom.”
“Given what the Trump administration walked into, I think they’ve done pretty well,” he added, but warned that a major test will be whether the defunding language passes the finish line, saying if it doesn’t, it “absolutely” will be damaging to Republicans in the 2018 midterms.
Even Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, who both supported Trump the candidate, have voiced concerns of late. But on Thursday, DML pushed back on the naysayers stating more time is needed to conquer some of the points people are complaining about. “Doing too many things all at once will result in lots of failures. Give it some more time,” said DML.
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