Pro-House GOP super PAC to spend $1.5M to save Pennsylvania House seat

The pro-House GOP Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC is prepping a $1.5 million TV campaign to save a vacant southwestern Pennsylvania seat.

The advertising campaign will begin on Friday and continue through the March 13 special election, according to a party strategist briefed on the plans. The super PAC has already begun a field deployment effort in the district.

The TV blitz is part of a broader Republican effort to keep Pennsylvania’s 18th District, which former GOP Rep. Tim Murphy recently resigned from following allegations that he asked a women with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion. President Donald Trump won the district by 20 points in 2016, and a loss would be widely seen as a major blow for the party.

Trump traveled to the Pittsburgh area last week to appear with Republican candidate Rick Saccone, and Vice President Mike Pence is slated Continue reading “Pro-House GOP super PAC to spend $1.5M to save Pennsylvania House seat”

Moore forces seek retribution against Shelby

Alabama GOP Sen. Richard Shelby is confronting a fierce backlash from conservatives over his refusal to support Roy Moore in last month’s special election — with Moore backers pushing a censure resolution and robocall campaign targeting the powerful lawmaker.

Moore’s supporters are furious with Shelby over his remark days before the Dec. 12 election that he “couldn’t vote for Roy Moore,” a controversial former state judge who was facing allegations of child molestation. Instead, Shelby said he would write-in the name of another unnamed Republican.

Moore’s backers say the comments from the 83-year-old dean of Alabama’s congressional delegation effectively delivered the election to Democrat Doug Jones, and now they’re fighting back.

This week, three Moore supporters submitted a resolution to the Alabama Republican Party executive committee calling for Shelby to be censured. It argues that Shelby “publicly encouraged Republicans and all voters to write in a candidate instead of voting Continue reading “Moore forces seek retribution against Shelby”

Trump races to head off another special election debacle

The White House is scrambling to avoid another special election disaster, this time in a Pennsylvania congressional district in the heart of Trump country.

After a humiliating loss in the Alabama Senate race last month, the administration is drawing up ambitious plans that will kick off next Thursday when Trump travels to the conservative district to appear with Republican candidate Rick Saccone. Vice President Mike Pence and an assortment of Cabinet officials are also expected to make trips; Pence may go twice ahead of the March 13 special election, two administration officials said.

The White House has taken an especially keen interest in the race: Members of Trump’s political affairs office met with Saccone this week. And during a Tuesday conference call between the Republican national party committees and the Saccone campaign, White House political director Bill Stepien expressed displeasure with the progress the candidate was making on fundraising. Stepien Continue reading “Trump races to head off another special election debacle”

Trump races to head off another special election debacle

The White House is scrambling to avoid another special election disaster, this time in a Pennsylvania congressional district in the heart of Trump country.

After a humiliating loss in the Alabama Senate race last month, the administration is drawing up ambitious plans that will kick off next Thursday when Trump travels to the conservative district to appear with Republican candidate Rick Saccone. Vice President Mike Pence and an assortment of Cabinet officials are also expected to make trips; Pence may go twice ahead of the March 13 special election, two administration officials said.

The White House has taken an especially keen interest in the race: Members of Trump’s political affairs office met with Saccone this week. And during a Tuesday conference call between the Republican national party committees and the Saccone campaign, White House political director Bill Stepien expressed displeasure with the progress the candidate was making on fundraising. Stepien Continue reading “Trump races to head off another special election debacle”

Bannon steps down from Breitbart News

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon stepped down Tuesday as executive chairman of Breitbart News, amid a fight with President Donald Trump and after a key financial backer abandoned him.

Trump publicly rebuked his former White House strategist last week in response to critical comments Bannon made about members of the Trump family and campaign in Michael Wolff’s incendiary new book, “Fire and Fury.”

“I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform," Bannon said in a statement. Breitbart CEO Larry Solov said Bannon “is a valued part of our legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish.”

In recent days, Bannon privately acknowledged to friends that the firestorm surrounding him was interfering with Breitbart’s operations.

On Sunday, he issued a statement uncharacteristically Continue reading “Bannon steps down from Breitbart News”

Trump, Romney talk on phone amid speculation over Utah Senate bid

President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Mitt Romney on Thursday evening, a conversation that comes amid mounting speculation that Romney — a fierce Trump critic — is preparing to run for Senate in Utah.

The brief call, which was described by two sources who were briefed on it, lasted less than 10 minutes. The president wished Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, best of luck in his future endeavors.

The two men also spoke about 83-year-old Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who announced his retirement earlier this week, opening the seat for Romney to run.

Trump had aggressively pressured Hatch to run for reelection in an effort to block Romney from taking the seat. The president flew with Hatch to Salt Lake City last month to lavish praise on him at a ceremony in which Trump announced the shrinking of the state’s national monuments.

Romney was an outspoken critic of Trump Continue reading “Trump, Romney talk on phone amid speculation over Utah Senate bid”

Trump, GOP leaders to discuss 2018 election at Camp David Friday

Congressional leaders are slated to brief President Donald Trump on the perilous midterm landscape on Friday afternoon at Camp David.

Amid rising concern that Republicans could lose their majorities in November, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will lead separate presentations on 2018, according to three people familiar with the plans.

The briefing will be part of a broader slate of meetings between the president and Republican congressional leadership to take place at Camp David through the weekend, when they are scheduled to discuss the legislative agenda for this year. Also attending will be House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).

At a time when the president’s approval ratings are mired in the 30s, there is widespread worry in the party about the election and how prepared the Continue reading “Trump, GOP leaders to discuss 2018 election at Camp David Friday”