Administration

Trump rebukes Collins amid difficult reelection fight

President Trump on Friday targeted Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) amid her difficult reelection bid, complaining that she opposes his priorities and saying she isn’t “worth the work.”

Trump’s tweet came Friday morning, after the conclusion of four days of confirmation hearings for his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Collins has said she will oppose Barrett’s nomination because of the proximity of the nomination process to the presidential election. 

“There is a nasty rumor out there that @SenatorCollins of Maine will not be supporting our great United States Supreme Court Nominee,” Trump tweeted. “Well, she didn’t support Healthcare or my opening up 5000 square miles of Ocean to Maine, so why should this be any different. Not worth the work!”

 

Collins, who is seeking reelection to a fifth term in the Senate, is facing her most difficult election battle yet against challenger Sara Gideon, Maine’s Democratic House Speaker. A RealClearPolitics average of polling shows Gideon with a roughly 4-percentage-point edge over Collins less than three weeks before Election Day.

Trump’s tweet criticizing Collins could make her reelection effort all the more difficult. She is among a handful of vulnerable GOP senators in tough reelection battles, and her loss would make it more challenging for Republicans to maintain control of the Senate. 

Collins is one of the more independent-minded Republicans in the Senate. She has voted in favor of Trump’s priorities — including voting to confirm his second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, amid controversy in 2018 — but she has also broken with the president at times.

Trump on Friday appeared to be zeroing in on Collins’s decision in 2017 to oppose the GOP Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which ensured the legislation did not have the votes to pass the chamber. 

Collins also signaled disagreement with Trump’s decision earlier this year to roll back protections at a marine conservation area off of New England, opening up 5,000 square miles of water to commercial fishing amid opposition from environmentalists. 

Collins is the only Republican senator who has said she will oppose Barrett’s nomination. Republicans have faced accusations of hypocrisy from Democrats for moving on the nominee so close to the 2020 election, despite refusing to consider then-President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016.

Polls show that Democratic nominee Joe Biden has a decisive double-digit lead over Trump in Maine, a state that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

Tags 2020 election Amy Coney Barrett Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Maine Merrick Garland Senate races Susan Collins Trump tweets

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