Politics

Trump Most Effective in Senate Races, Pence Can Focus on House, Lewandowski Says

Great America Committee senior strategist says Pence PAC is cutting checks for GOP congressional candidates

Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager for Donald Trump, says the president is most effective stumping for Senate candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the final 12-week stretch to the midterms, expect to see President Donald Trump on the trail stumping mostly for GOP Senate candidates and Vice President Mike Pence campaigning for House Republicans, Corey Lewandowski said. 

The former Trump campaign manager and current senior strategist to Pence’s political action committee, the Great America Committee, said the political strategists in Trump’s orbit have determined that’s the best strategy for deploying the GOP’s executive leaders onto the congressional campaign trail. 

“I think they believe the president is most effective in Senate races where he can have a large impact on states and the vice president is very effective at congressional district races where he can go in and campaign for Andy Barr in Kentucky or specific places where either their isn’t a statewide office on the ballot or the president just isn’t going to go there for logistical reasons,” Lewandowski said. 

Security issues aren’t as significant for Pence as they are for Trump, so it’s just logistically easier for the vice president to move around, he said. Pence also has a personal connection to the House since he spent 12 years of his career serving there. 

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“The vice president understands the nuances of being a House member and can go out and campaign for those members [using] personal relationships that he has with them,” Lewandowski said. “And I think he does that very well.”

One of Trump’s biggest assets on the campaign trail will be allowing GOP candidates running against incumbent Democratic senators in states that he won in 2016 to benefit from his continued popularity among the GOP base, Lewandowski said.

“In states like Missouri, Donald Trump has significant coattails,” he said.

“By and large the American people like the success the Trump administration has brought them from an economic policy perspective,” Lewandowski said. 

If Republican hopefuls want to run as a Trump candidate on that national platform, they’ll have success, he predicted. 

“The Democrats have really tried to localize the elections,” Lewandowski said, arguing they lack a national economic message. 

The Great America Committee that Lewandowski strategizes for has been raising money and reallocating it to House and Senate campaigns, as well as key gubernatorial races.

The PAC has been and will be “taking money and putting it back into places through hard money donations to make sure that the individuals running for office are on the Trump-Pence agenda and helping them any way we can,” Lewandowski said. 

The Great America Committee handed out roughly 120 to 130 checks to Republican  incumbents and candidates running for Congress before its last disbursement, he said. 

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