Trump is driving a wedge into local Republican politics.
Michigan’s outgoing Republican governor is refusing to support his party’s far-right, Trump-backed candidate. The move comes just weeks after Nevada’s departing Republican governor also declined to endorse his party’s nominee.
In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder, who is term limited and cannot run again, has made it clear he won’t be backing fellow Republican Bill Schuette, the party’s pick to be the next governor.
Snyder says it’s because he’s still governing and doesn’t want to get involved in campaign. “I’m staying out of politics,” he stressed this week.” But Snyder specifically endorsed Schuette’s opponent in the GOP primary earlier this year.
During that campaign, Snyder told reporters it was a “serious matter” that a county prosecutor has forwarded to the FBI a request for a criminal investigation of Schuette for improperly using state resources.
In July, the Detroit Free-Press reported Schuette “asked more than a dozen state employees to join him on a 2015 weekday conference call to discuss ‘presidential politics.'”
“Trump’s burn-it-all-down message stood in stark contrast to Snyder’s ‘relentless positive action,'” Michigan Public radio noted.
Schuette on the other hand, is running as a Trump acolyte. When Trump appeared at a rally in Washington Township, Michigan, in April, Schuette billed the event a Trump-Schuette rally.
Trump barely won Michigan in 2016, defeating Hillary Clinton by 11,000 votes.
But whatever appeal Michigan voters found in Trump seems to have worn off over the last two years. Today, Trump’s approval rating in the Rust Belt state has plummeted to 36 percent.
That might be another reason why the state’s Republican governor wants nothing to do with the Trump-approved candidate in the Michigan race.
That ongoing split represents another example of how Trump has driven a divisive wedge into parts of the party.
In Nevada, the state’s term-limited outgoing Republican Gov. Gov. Brian Sandoval has refused to back Adam Laxalt, the party’s far-right, Trump-loving nominee hoping to take Sandoval’s place.
Like Snyder, Sandoval is far more moderate than the Republican in line trying to take his place.
Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment was, “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.” Under Trump, governors like Snyder and Sandoval seem to be doing their best to simply ignore fellow Republicans who they cannot abide, even Republicans who have won GOP nominations.