Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin believes Donald Trump will win the presidency, but the vulnerable Republican is still refusing to answer whether or not he’ll support him.
“Trump’s going to win it all,” Poliquin said at an event Monday hosted by the conservative Informed Women’s Network in Portland, Maine.
Poliquin is a first-term Republican facing re-election in one of this year’s few tossup districts .
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His remarks surfaced in a recording publicized Friday by a liberal blogger who appears on the Bangor Daily News website.
But on Capitol Hill, Poliquin was mum on the presumptive GOP nominee.
The congressman was asked three times on Friday by CQ Roll Call whether he is supporting Trump as the nominee but he refused to answer or acknowledge the questions.
He stared straight ahead and occasionally looked at his phone, walking briskly from the House floor to another press conference.
“Only one candidate now has been a major job creator,” the statement read.
Asked to confirm Friday whether that candidate is Trump or whether an endorsement would follow, Poliquin’s political consultant, Brent Littlefield, only said, “We’ve issued our statement.”
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In the Portland recording, Poliquin predicted that Americans’ fears would lead to a Trump general election win.
“We have fear about our personal safety. We have fear about our economic future,” Poliquin said. “When that happens, this is what’s going to happen because of the characters involved.”
Trump’s meetings with Congress this week, Poliquin said, are a sign he’ll be relying on the House — not the Senate, he said — to craft policy.
“Trump is not a policy person,”Poliquin told the Portland gathering. “This is what he’s going to do: He’s gonna say, ‘We’re going in this direction. Poliquin, you fix this.’” But Poliquin, who faces a rematch against Democrat Emily Cain in a district that traditionally votes Democratic at the presidential level, acknowledged that neither presumptive nominee is well-liked.
“This is going to be a race to the bottom, so you need to buckle up. This is going to be the ugliest campaign you’re ever going to see in your life,” he said.
“Both of them have very high negatives; they’re going to get higher,” he said of Trump and Clinton.
[Related: Republicans Who Just Say ‘No’ on Trump]
Cain jumped on Poliquin’s remarks.
“Congressman Poliquin hasn’t been straight with Mainers, and has tried to mislead us about his embrace of Trump’s dangerous views that experts warn will weaken our economy and our national security,” she said in a statement Friday.
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