John Barrasso Is Not the Problem for the Trump Agenda or the GOP

by Jim Geraghty

It is difficult to argue that Steve Bannon’s effort to recruit primary challengers to GOP senators in 2018 is driven by the incumbents’ lack of conservatism, or by their unwillingness to enact the president’s agenda. Judging by the desire to oust John Barrasso, it is driven by a desire for conflict for its own sake, an appetite for seeing as many incumbent Republican senators defeated in primaries as possible.

Erik Prince, the founder of the security contractor Blackwater, is seriously considering a Republican primary challenge for a Senate seat in Wyoming, potentially adding a high-profile contender to a fledgling drive to oust establishment lawmakers with insurgents in the mold of President Trump.

Mr. Prince appears increasingly likely to challenge John Barrasso, a senior member of the Senate Republican leadership, according to people who have spoken to him in recent days. He has been urged to run next year by Stephen K. Bannon, who is leading the effort to shake up the Republican leadership with financial backing from the New York hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah.

It is pretty much impossible to argue that the reason the Trump administration isn’t able to enact its agenda is a senator like John Barrasso. As of this writing, Barrasso has voted with the Trump administration’s position 95.9 percent of the time. The two times he voted against the administration’s position related to sanctions on Russia; almost every Republican senator voted the same.

Barrasso has a lifetime ACU rating of 90 out of 100

Also, remember how the lack of residency in the House district was such an important part of the special House election race between Republican Karen Handel and John Ossoff? Bannon’s old publication Breitbart.com mocked Ossoff for not living in the district and for living considerably further away than his campaign volunteers contended. Notice this detail in the Times article:

Over the weekend, Mr. Prince traveled to Wyoming with his family to explore ways to establish residency there, said one person who had spoken to him.

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