News · Press Release

BOLD STRATEGY, COTTON: As Trump Tells Voters to Sit Out 2022, Emmer and NRCC Fear Crossing The Boss

Much like his failed businesses, Donald Trump is intent on running the NRCC and House Republicans straight into the ground

We already knew that House Republicans were a circus, but the latest highwire act by Tom Emmer and the NRCC is their most perilous yet.

As the insurrection-inciting, twice impeached former president issues calls for Republican voters to sit out the 2022 midterm elections, the NRCC is caught between a rock and a hard place. Will Tom Emmer and the NRCC fully condemn Trump and his false claims about a ‘rigged election,’ or will they continue to desperately latch on to their boss so they can try to improve their lagging fundraising totals? They can’t have it both ways.

Take a look at some of the coverage that has Tom Emmer, the NRCC, and vulnerable House Republicans on edge heading into the weekend:

WATCH – CNN Inside Politics with John King: Trump Leans Into the Big Lie, Now Says GOP Shouldn’t Vote in 2022 if “Fraud” Isn’t Fixed

  • CNN’s John King: “The price of playing nice with Donald Trump is front and center today.”

  • CNN’s Melanie Zanona: “Oh, my gosh. You can hear Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy ripping their hair out right now. This is the last thing they want to be talking about […] The problem for them and why this is such a headache for them, is they continue to make Trump front and center, and they won’t reject these false claims. In fact, Trump is going to be actually speaking at an NRCC and an NRSC fundraising event coming up here. And so he’s still front and center in the party. As long as he’s out there talking about this, I mean it’s just a huge headache.”


CNN: Republicans fear a Georgia Senate repeat in other races next year as Trump continues to peddle voter fraud lies
By Melanie Zanona | October 14, 2021

  • Some Republicans worry that Donald Trump’s persistent false claims of voter fraud could depress GOP voter turnout and turn off moderates and independents, potentially setting the party up for another Georgia-style disaster in the midterms.

  • “Donald Trump gave away the Senate once. It looks like he’s determined to do it again,” said one House GOP lawmaker.

  • But with Trump showing no signs of relenting in his demands to re-litigate his 2020 election loss — and most Republicans still refusing to reject his lies and threats to democracy — it’s shaping up to be a major headache and source of frustration for GOP leaders who want to win back their majorities by keeping Trump front-and-center in the party.

  • Added a third Republican: “It’s not a helpful message.”

  • “The Republican Party has made it very clear that blind loyalty to Donald Trump’s ego is the only principle they hold fast to,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, chairman of the House Democratic campaign arm, in a statement. “Yesterday was just another reminder that Trump’s toxic rhetoric looks very different when he isn’t on the ballot.”

Fox News: The Trump dilemma: Aiming to win back House, NRCC chair walks tightrope regarding former president
By Paul Steinhauser | October 14, 2021

  • But a day earlier, former President Trump predicted in a statement that “if we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ‘22 or ’24.” 

  • Asked about Trump’s comments, Emmer answered that “the former president, he’s a private citizen.. he of course, is entitled to his own opinion.”

  • Trump will headline a major NRCC fundraising gala Nov. 8 in Tampa, Florida.

Washington Post: Trump asserts his dominance inside GOP, pushing Republicans to embrace his false claims of fraud
By Josh Dawsey and Michael Scherer | October 14, 2021

  • With more than a year to go before the midterm elections, the former president is leaving no corner of the party untouched as he moves to assert his dominance, both in public and behind the scenes. His stepped-up efforts create a conundrum for many of the party’s strategists and lawmakers, who believe they could have a banner election year in 2022 if they keep the focus on President Biden and his agenda.

  • Other Republicans worry that the debates over the 2020 election will bleed into election season next year, in a way that will hurt the GOP.

  • “Right now, if the party focuses on Afghanistan, inflation, the border, crime — we are going to win big,” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), who represents a swing district outside Omaha. “If the party wants to make it about the election is rigged, we will lose. Independent voters don’t respond well to that. If we keep the focus right, I think we’re going to win big in 2022.”

  • Much of the party’s power structure has given Trump leeway to prosecute his false election case, without explicitly endorsing it. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the House GOP campaign arm, is running ads on Facebook that fully embrace a Trump return to the White House, a clear sign that he commands the support of small-dollar donors.

  • “The president is going to headline our fall dinner. He remains the biggest draw in our party and we are happy he is helping our efforts to fire [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi,” NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) said Thursday in a call with reporters.

  • Asked to respond to Trump’s threat against Republicans who don’t embrace his election fraud narrative, Emmer demurred.

  • “The former president, he’s a private citizen,” Emmer said. “He, of course, is entitled to his own opinion.”

National Journal: NRCC chief parts company with Trump
By Kirk A. Bado | October 14, 2021

  • Georgia is on the mind of Republicans as former President Trump continues to falsely claim that because the 2020 election was stolen from him, his supporters will stay home in 2022 unless GOP officeholders investigate his baseless claims of election fraud.

  • In a press call with reporters Thursday, National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Tom Emmer tried to downplay Trump’s remarks that his supporters won’t show up next year.

  • But the GOP’s most prominent private citizen’s insistence on relitigating the 2020 presidential results has put Republicans in uncomfortable positions as they navigate Trump’s role in the midterms. Emmer acknowledged that Trump “remains the biggest draw in our party,” and the NRCC would “continue to highlight the policies of the Trump administration that were incredibly popular” but did not directly address Trump’s claims of election fraud.

Politico Playbook PM: Emmer raises eyebrows with Trump remark
By Eugene Daniels, Garrett Ross and Eli Okun | October 14, 2021

  • EMMER VS. TRUMP?: “‘He’s a private citizen and he’s entitled to his own opinion,’ says NRCC chairman TOM EMMER when asked about [DONALD] TRUMP’s continued focus on the 2020 election and potential distracting effects on the 2022 midterms,” via Jacob Rubashkin.

  • “He can do whatever he wants,” Emmer said back then. “But I would tell him that it’s probably better for us that we keep these people and we make sure that we have a majority that can be sustained going forward.”

  • But this new statement seems to go a step further. We all know what “entitled to his own opinion” means in D.C. speak: “please, for the love of God, stop.” But that’s likely as far as Emmer will go in criticizing Trump — especially seeing as the party continues to embrace Trump for fundraising purposes.

  • Case in point: the NRCC’s latest text message to supporters, accusing them of being “traitors” to Donald Trump for not donating money to the NRCC, and giving them “17 minutes” to correct the record by contributing.

Business Insider: A top GOP committee sent a message accusing supporters who hadn’t donated of being traitors: ‘You abandoned Trump.’
By Erin Snodgrass | October 14, 2021

  • The National Republican Congressional Committee sent a fundraising message this month threatening supporters who had not yet donated, calling them a “traitor,” The Washington Post reported.

  • According to The Post, some Trump advisers were furious with the framing of the email, calling it off-putting and worrying that it could alienate supporters as Trump continues to hint at a 2024 presidential run.

  • “The tone was totally inappropriate,” one anonymous advisor told the outlet about the committee’s message.

  • The messaging comes even as Trump publicly issues a threat to GOP lawmakers, telling them to back his ongoing lies about unfounded election fraud or else Republicans will refuse to vote in 2022 and 2024. On Thursday, Trump published a statement to his political action committee website, Save America, conveying the threat.


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