Kevin McCarthy taps Trump donors in seeking to retake House majority

Fundraising pitch comes from ‘trumps-majority’ web address

President Donald Trump, left, joins House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy onstage at a House Republican retreat dinner in Baltimore on Sept. 12, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)
President Donald Trump, left, joins House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy onstage at a House Republican retreat dinner in Baltimore on Sept. 12, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted January 28, 2021 at 5:35pm

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is relying on the brand and grassroots network of his party’s ex-president to gin up donations in Republicans’ quest to retake the majority in the chamber in 2022. 

Not only did McCarthy meet with Donald Trump in Florida, but the House’s top Republican also sent a fundraising email Thursday from an account dubbed trumps-majority.com. 

It comes at a pivotal moment for the GOP as party insiders wrestle with the role that will now be played by Trump, whose supporters rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6 but who also remains hugely popular among conservatives.

The fundraising email attacks Democratic President Joe Biden’s policy agenda, including his executive orders on energy and other matters. And it makes a plea for donations toward Republican congressional candidates to help them win control of the House of Representatives.    

“This confirms what we already knew: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris only want power and for the government to have complete control over every aspect of our lives,” stated the email pitch, which was sent to donors, including lobbyists. “For our nation’s sake, we MUST fight back and stop Joe Biden and his socialist agenda from destroying our economy NOW.”

McCarthy has criticized Trump for his role in the Capitol violence, but he has sought to make amends, most notably with Thursday’s session with the ex-president. McCarthy was among some 140 of his colleagues who voted against certifying the electoral results on Jan. 6, siding with Trump, who claimed for months that his defeat in 2020 was the result of a stolen election. 

Although some in the GOP seek to expunge Trump’s grip from the party, McCarthy’s embrace indicates that Republicans largely want the former president’s help as they try to win back majorities in the House and the Senate. 

“Today, President Trump committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022,” McCarthy said in a statement after meeting with Trump in Florida. “A Republican majority will listen to our fellow Americans and solve the challenges facing our nation.” 

Trump, a prolific fundraiser especially among small-dollar donors, may help Republicans raise political money, as business PACs and other donors say they plan to withhold campaign donations from lawmakers such as McCarthy who voted against certifying the electoral results.  

It comes with a cost for the party, too, as K Street donors and other long-standing Republicans seek to divorce the party from Trump’s fiery rhetoric, often based on falsehoods. Lobbyists are rushing to the defense of Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of 10 members of her party to vote to impeach Trump. The No. 3 House Republican, she faces a primary challenge already over her vote, and some of her colleagues have sought to oust her from her leadership post. McCarthy has said she should remain. 

Meanwhile, a new joint fundraising committee has been established as of Thursday to benefit at least four of the Republicans who voted to impeach Trump: Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Fred Upton of Michigan. It also splits its donations with the moderate Tuesday Group PAC, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission.

The McCarthy email missive sent Thursday aims to loop Trump donors in to McCarthy’s fundraising apparatus to win back the House. 

“By adding your name, you become a member of Take the House and agree to receive emails and text message alerts,” the site states.