A Republican congresswoman from Arizona is reportedly concerned about losing her position in the House during the 2018 mid-term elections because of President Donald Trump.
Rep. Martha McSally's comments were secretly recorded at a meeting of the Arizona Bankers Association, Tucson Weekly reports.
McSally noted that there were several "distractions" that were making her job in Washington harder.
She suggested there would be a backlash against all Republicans because of Trump.
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"It's basically being taken out on me," she added, according to Tucson Weekly. "Any Republican member of Congress, you are going down with the ship. And we're going to hand the gavel to Pelosi in 2018, they only need 28 seats and the path to that gavel being handed over is through my seat. And right now, it doesn't matter that it's me, it doesn't matter what I've done. I have an 'R' next to my name and right now, this environment would have me not prevail."
Tucson Weekly notes that McSally made her comments in the context of appealing for donations for her campaign to the assembled bankers, suggesting that there may have been an element of exaggeration in them for political reasons.
Indivisible Southern Arizona, a protest group that pressures members of Congress to take a stand against the Trump Administration's policies, recorded McSally's speech after a number of its members bought tickets for the event. McSally's team refused entry to four Indivisible Southern Arizona members, but one managed to attend without being noticed.
"The environment has changed and some of it changed on January 20," McSally added. "There's just an element out there that's just, like, so against the president. Like they just can't see straight. And all of a sudden on January 20, I'm like his twin sister to them. And I'm, like, responsible for everything he does, and tweets and says. And they want me to be spending my time as a pundit. 'I disagree with that. I agree with this.' I have a job in the legislature!"
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McSally appears not to be the only Republican worrying about Trump's potential impact on their reelection bids. In 2018, all 435 seats in the House and a third of the seats in the Senate are up for reelection.
"You have this White House that is lurching from crisis to crisis, image of disarray," a Republican pollster told the Washington Examiner. "They can't get their hands around the basic day-to-day agenda."
However, others point out that Trump still has strong approval ratings in the states where the Senate will be contested and among other important voter demographics.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is not planning to distance itself from Trump to boost Republicans' electoral chances.
"First off, the Trump administration has been very helpful to the NRCC," a committee insider said. "President Trump keynoted the annual March Dinner and helped raise $30 million for the committee. Vice President Pence has been all over the country for Republican candidates."