Trump's minions are scrambling to please him on the campaign trail.
Frantic with fear that they might offend their all mighty leader, some Republican candidates still vying for primary wins are doing whatever it takes to please Trump.
In the case of Rep. Martha McSally, who’s currently vying for the open Senate seat in Arizona, that means refusing to mention her home state GOP Senator, John McCain, even as McSally spent days touting the new military spending bill signed by Trump — a bill that was named in honor of John McCain, who is suffering from brain cancer.
On Monday, the Arizona Republican traveled all the way to upstate New York to watch Trump sign the National Defense Authorization Act, also known as the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2019.
There, Trump made sure to ignore McCain, even as he publicly thanked military and congressional leaders for passing the bill.
Instead of acknowledging McCain’s duty to his country during any of her several appearances or in any public statement while promoting the bill, McSally blamed the press for noting Trump’s Monday snub of the senator, and turning it into a “controversy.”
Trump’s still fuming that McCain provided Democrats with a key “no” vote last year, when Republicans were trying to repeal Obamacare. And if Trump’s still mad at McCain, that means minions like McSally, a retired Air Force colonel, have to slight the sick senator too.
“That’s something I wouldn’t have expected from a former combat pilot, who once upon a time must have had a backbone,” writes Arizona Republica columnist, Laura Roberts.
McSally has had her own embarrassing moments with regards to Trump.
A secretly recorded tape of McSally addressing perspective donors last year caught her complaining that Trump could doom the party in 2018.
Today, she’s transformed herself into a full-on Trump loyalist candidate and was recently rewarded for that with praise from him, but no official endorsement yet.
The problem for Republicans as they scramble in their primary races to worship at the altar of Trump is that in November these same Republican candidates have to face independent and Democratic voters, who despise Trump.
On Wednesday, new Quinnipiac University polling revealed “Donald Trump’s presidency makes 52 percent of American voters think less favorably of the Republican Party, while 16 percent think more favorably of the GOP.”
It’s that Trump effect that’s helping to produce a surging blue wave among voters.
For now, kowtowing to Trump by snubbing McCain might work for loyalists like McSally. But the larger challenge comes in November.