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September 04, 2018 02:36 PM UTC

Scott Tipton Starts His Own Trump Slow-Walk Back

  • 9 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez).

The Pueblo Chieftain’s Peter Roper ran a story over the long weekend that we have to say we’re not surprised a bit to see–GOP Rep. Scott Tipton, looking nervously at the difficult midterm election that awaits him, and wondering if it just might not be a bad idea to at least, you know, maybe think about…

Putting some daylight between himself and President Donald Trump:

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is running for a fifth term in Congress, and the Cortez Republican manages to both support President Donald Trump’s agenda as well as step away at times.

Tipton, who represents Pueblo and the 3rd Congressional District, says he doesn’t want a trade war with China or other U.S. trading partners. But he adds that Trump’s willingness to impose tariffs seems to be getting results in some negotiations, such as with Mexico…

What becomes obvious very quickly is that this story is mostly about its headline. Tipton has a consistent response: Trump makes him uncomfortable, but he “seems to be getting results.” It’s a theme that goes on:

Tipton says Trump is right in claiming a wall on the Mexico border is needed— but, he adds, not everywhere…

And on:

And as for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Trump may want him fired, but Tipton says that would be a mistake…

But then Tipton adds that Mueller’s investigation has “gotten away from its original intent” of investigating Russian interference in the U.S. elections.

Somewhere in this it becomes painfully obvious that Tipton is giving answers crafted to allow him an escape no matter what happens to Trump’s hard-line proposals on immigration and foreign trade, or the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia to win the 2016 elections. Tipton wants to look “independent from Trump,” without saying anything that would land him on the White House’s notorious list of unfavored Republicans who have publicly criticized the President.

Still, it’s happening at the same time Walker Stapleton is closing ranks with Trump–so it’s notable.

This is all happening as national Republican strategists have begun giving tailored advice to Republican candidates based on local polling numbers on how to invoke the president on the campaign trail–from embracing Trump in red states to sort-of shunning him where Trump is likely to drag down GOP turnout. CD-3 is an interesting case, with far-flung very different population centers. Cozying up to Trump has few disadvantages in Grand Junction, but in Pueblo it’s another matter entirely.

The one thing that we can say with certainty is that Tipton is not very good at this. Whatever the strategy is, Tipton’s poor execution makes it both easier to spot and less likely to succeed.

Comments

9 thoughts on “Scott Tipton Starts His Own Trump Slow-Walk Back

  1. Tipton, claiming " Trump’s willingness to impose tariffs seems to be getting results in some negotiations, such as with Mexico… "

    Thus far, the "results" appear to be

    • a demonstration that the Sad!-ministration staffers can't reliably set up a call and put it on a speaker phone in front of Trump,
    • a fair amount of evidence that the negotiators and legislative liaisons of the Sad!-ministration don't really understand the Trade Promotion Authority [TPA] from Congress. Without it being a 3-way agreement, Trump would need 60 votes in the Senate.
    • a VERY narrow time frame for action. The TPA says Trump needed to notify Congress 90 days in advance — and his notification last week sets November 30 as the earliest Congress can act. If both House and Senate approve it almost immediately, Trump can send it to Mexico — where Pena Nieto is in office until December 1. Chances of AMLO signing something his predecessor negotiated WITHOUT CHANGE seem slim.
    1. In the breakdown, fivethirtyeight refers to similar districts. I'd be intrigued to find out which district (s) were found to compare with the 3rd, which ranges from high-end Aspen, Vail, etc., to the dirt-poor San Luis Valley.

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