Previous President TrumpDonald Trump Trump Announces New Stretch of DeSantis and Pence Endorsements Tied in 2024 Republican Poll Lawmakers Demand Change After National Guard Troops on Capitol Hill Sick from Tainted Food He promised to travel to Alaska to campaign against the senator. Lisa murkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate Rejects Sanders Minimum Wage Increase The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented By Facebook – Virus Relief Bill To Be Voted Over The Weekend Hillicon Valley: YouTube To Restore Trump Account | Electoral bill approved by the Chamber aims at foreign interference | Senators Introduce Legislation to Create International Tech Associations MORE (R) next year as he seeks re-election.
Murkowski, who first took office in 2002, has long been a critic of the former president and the Republican Party’s top wild card in recent polls. She broke her party this week by announcing that she would endorse Rep. Deb haalandDeb Haaland The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Virus Aid Bill for Weekend Vote The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon date of 4 March Murkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland’s nomination MORE(DN.M.) to serve as Home Secretary, and she was one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump at his impeachment last month.
She is the only one of seven seeking re-election in 2022.
“I will not, under any circumstances, endorse the failed candidate from the great state of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski. She misrepresents her state and her country even worse. I don’t know where other people will be next year, but I know where I’ll be – in Alaska. campaigning against a disloyal and very bad senator, “Trump said in a statement to The Hill. “Her vote to promote radical left-wing Democrat Deb Haaland to Home Secretary is another example that Murkowski does not stand up for Alaska.”
The threat marks the latest indication that Trump plans to insert himself heavily into the 2022 races across the country.
Republicans predict that Trump will present himself as a kingmaker in the Republican Party in the future as he reflects on his own candidacy for 2024. While he has seen his approval rating drop nationwide since the January 6 riot. on Capitol Hill, his endorsement is still coveted by Republican candidates eager to win the affection of a base that still overwhelmingly backs the former president.
In his first endorsements since leaving office, Trump has mostly endorsed incumbent lawmakers who also enjoy the establishment’s support. However, he has warned lawmakers in office that he could also fight for his defeats if he thinks they have not been sufficiently supportive of him or his agenda, and his threat against Murkowski serves as a reminder that the concern is not just one. protection against a Trump challenge.
“When necessary and appropriate, I will back the primary rivals who defend Making America Great Again and our America First policy. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful and compassionate leadership, ”Trump said in a statement last month.
Fulfilling that threat, Trump last month endorsed former White House aide Max Miller, who is challenging the Representative. Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzálezTrump Announces New Stretch of Republican Endorsements, Please Save Your Party House Republican Campaign Manager: It is not helpful for Trump to meddle in the primaries MORE (R-Ohio), one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the deadly January 6 insurrection.
Trump’s dispute with Murkowski dates back to at least 2018. Murkowski voted against the confirmation of Brett kavanaughBrett Michael Kavanaugh Justices Hear Discussion Over Scope of Safeguards for Minority Voters Supreme Court Faces Historic Voting Rights Challenge Will ‘Cuomo Cover-Up’ Head to ‘Jail the Boss’? PLUS to the Supreme Court that year and said in 2020 that Trump should not have appointed a replacement for the late judge Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgBarrett writes the first Supreme Court majority opinion against an environmental group How to pass legislation in the Senate without eliminating the obstructionist bill introduced to create the RBG monument on Capitol Hill MORE after Republicans in 2016 refused to accept then-President Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court in an election year.
While Trump’s threat against Murkowski marks the strongest signal yet that he plans to try to impeach her, the Alaska Republican is not far behind electorally.
Murkowski in 2010 lost the Republican primary to a right-wing activist, but ultimately won re-election through a written campaign, underscoring his appeal to voters beyond his partisan affiliation. And under Alaska’s classified-choice voting system, the top four voters in an open primary will go to the general election, meaning it won’t have the same partisan pressure on it as it did in 2010.
Beyond that, Murkowski is expected to gain the support of party organs. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida), chairman of the Senate Republican National Committee, said in January that he will back sitting Republican senators against Trump-backed primary hopefuls.
Republicans have raised concerns that challenges to sitting lawmakers on the Trump wing of the Republican Party could jeopardize their chances in the midterm elections. Republicans are just five seats away from gaining control of the House and one seat from winning the Senate and have sought to paper the divisions in their first posts.
“Perhaps in kinder times, a lot of internal fights and arguments wouldn’t hurt much. I honestly enjoy joking around, and I have no interest in trying to stifle political dialogue and debate within parties, ”Scott wrote in a memo in February. “But now is not the time for division and here’s why: for the first time in our lives, socialism has become the brazen government policy of the Democratic Party.”
Still, the threat of a Trump challenge poses real risks for sitting lawmakers, a reality Murkowski acknowledged last month after his vote to convict Trump.
“I know that my actions, my vote can have political consequences. And I understand it. I absolutely understand it, ”he said. “But I can’t be afraid of that.”
Murkowski’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Trump’s vote, which was first reported by Politico.