GOP governors raise concerns about midterm losses at annual winter meeting

GOP governors raise concerns about midterm losses at annual winter meeting
© Greg Nash

A gathering by Republican governors in Scottsdale, Ariz., this week focused on GOP losses during this month's midterm elections, with some attributing President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE's rhetoric as having contributed to some of the defeats.

Politico reported that several governors at the Republican Governors Association's (RGA) annual winter meeting pointed to Trump as having exacerbated some of the negative trends affecting the GOP, including its falling support from women and suburban voters.

"The Republican Party started to have problems before Trump ever arrived on the scene two years ago. Trump has exacerbated some of those issues and put a focus on [those problems],” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), considered a moderate in his party, told Politico.


"I’m hopeful that it can get better, but I’m concerned that it could get worse," Hogan added. "And that’s really a debate within the party to say, ‘What are we about? What are we going to focus on?' "

Utah Gov. Greg Herbert (R) criticized the president in an interview with Politico over Trump's attacks aimed at Utah Rep. Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains McAdams concedes to Owens in competitive Utah district Poll: McAdams neck and neck with GOP challenger in Utah MORE (R) over her election loss, whom Trump blamed for not running more closely aligned with his agenda.

The congresswoman “gave me no love ... too bad. Sorry about that, Mia," Trump said at a press conference following the elections, evoking criticism from Love and other Republicans.

“There’s no need to be petty about it, and that’s part of the challenge we have with this administration," Herbert said in the interview with Politico.

“I think it was just bad to throw her under the bus," he added. "She’s the first African American woman Republican elected to Congress in American history, and we’re proud of that. And she was doing some good things.”

The association's incoming chairman, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), told Politico however that he was less willing to cast blame on Trump for the party's defeats.

“What you saw here is just the natural ebb and flow of what goes on in our system: When the party takes the power in Washington, D.C., then the other party gets energized. That’s why Obama lost 60 House seats,” he said.

"It’s a historical thing, so I don’t think that President Trump makes the difference so much as the party in power in Washington, D.C.”

Republicans lost their majority in the House during this month's midterms, though they gained a net two seats in the Senate.

Several Republican governors including Hogan and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who is leaving office this year, have been floated as possible 2020 Republican primary opponents to the president. Thought neither governor has announced any 2020 plans yet, the two have been unwilling to rule out a run in recent weeks.

Trump, who launched his reelection campaign earlier this year, traveled to several states over the course of 2018 to campaign for Republican candidates ahead of the Nov. 6 midterms.