Politics & Policy

Why It Pays to Have a Nominee Who Pays Attention to the Details

From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:

Why It Pays to Have a Nominee Who Pays Attention to the Details

If you suspect Donald Trump doesn’t pay too much attention to the details, you’re probably right.

Donald Trump has inserted himself into one of the most contentious House primaries in the country this weekend, endorsing GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in her member-versus-member race in North Carolina.

Trump makes a personal appeal to voters to back Ellmers in  a robocall released Saturday. She was “the first congresswoman to endorse me and she really was terrific and boy, is she a fighter,” Trump says in the call. It is the first time this election that Trump has picked sides in a congressional race.

“I need her help in Washington so we can work together to defeat ISIS, secure our border and bring back jobs and frankly, so many other things,” Trump continues. “And Renee knows how to do it. She gets it. And together, we will make America great again.”

People who don’t know the details often insist that it’s not important to know the details. You can hire staff for that sort of thing. The problem is, if you don’t know the details, you end up endorsing someone who disagrees with you on just about every detail of the issue of illegal immigration.

Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina was one of 10 Republicans who voted with Democrats on Wednesday against legislation that would roll back President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The immigration provisions were attached to a bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security. The House of Representatives passed the bill, 236-191 along party lines. All but two Democrats voted against it.

While Ellmers criticized Obama’s executive actions, saying she would “fight tooth and nail to put a stop to his amnesty plan,” she said in a statement that the bill was “overly broad in scope, as it has the potential to have a real negative and lasting impact on jobs and families in North Carolina.”

“There are businesses in the Second District who contract with Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and many of these jobs could be put in jeopardy with the passing of this legislation,” Ellmers said in a statement.

She also was one of 26 Republicans who voted against an amendment that would eliminate the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which has granted work permits and stopped deportation of 600,000 immigrants who arrived illegally as children.

And she was one of just two Republicans who opposed a measure that objected to the exemption of DACA immigrants from the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

Right now, there’s some Trump defender who’s insisting that the candidate just got bad advice, and that defender is probably right. There’s a good chance this same defender insisted earlier in the primary that Trump will hire the best people. That’s the consequence of nominating someone who has little familiarity with Washington or Republican lawmakers – he has no inherent knowledge or common sense to save himself from staff mistakes. He doesn’t even know to check into the record of the lawmaker he’s endorsing. After all, Googling “Renee Ellmers immigration” would take up valuable milliseconds.

You may remember Ellmers as the nurse who replaced the North Carolina strangler, Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge, in the Tea Party wave of 2010. But she’s changed a bit in Washington, disappointing quite a few folks who were early fans.

Last month the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List endorsed Rep. George Holding over “our former ally Rep. Renee Ellmers.” The group contends Ellmers “betrayed” the pro-life movement in January 2015, when she led the effort to derail the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the group’s our top legislative priority to stop abortion after five months. The group’s canvassing team knocked on more than 12,500 doors in the last few weeks, reaching conservative, pro-life primary voters. 

 

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