Yesterday morning, Donald Trump reiterated his support for Rep. Ron DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign in Florida, assuring the public that the Republican congressman is “strong” on crime and border issues, supports the Second Amendment, and “loves” the military and veterans.
About five hours later, the president issued another endorsement, this one for Rep. David Kustoff (R-Tenn.). Trump made the case that the Tennessee Republican is “strong” on crime and border issues, supports the Second Amendment, and “loves” the military and veterans.
These tweets came a day after the president endorsed Troy Balderson, a Republican congressional candidate in Ohio, insisting that he’s “strong” on crime and border issues, supports the Second Amendment, and “loves” the military and veterans.
Two weeks ago, ahead of the Republican gubernatorial primary runoff in Georgia, Trump threw his support behind Brian Kemp, telling voters that – you guessed it – the far-right candidate is “tough” on crime and border issues, supports the Second Amendment, and “loves” the military and veterans. It led Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy to explain:
…Kemp shouldn’t get too attached to Trump’s kind words, because they are, with only slight variations, a carbon copy of basically every other endorsement the president has ever given over Twitter.
Tim Murphy’s piece went on to highlight 10 more Trump endorsements, each of which included the same points, in some cases, word for word.
At a certain level, this reflects a degree of laziness on the president’s part. He could take the time to examine these Republicans’ records, and identify key aspects of their backgrounds, but that would take time Trump doesn’t have. After all, his television isn’t going to watch itself.
So instead he sticks with a template – but not just any template.
Aside from the jarring repetition of Trump’s endorsements, what strikes me as interesting about them is what he considers important. The president’s endorsements tend not to talk about health care, for example. Or the economy. Or foreign policy. Or the budget, the deficit, education, or the environment.
That’s probably because Trump believes those aren’t the issues motivating his base. His goal ahead of the midterm elections is to get as many far-right Republican loyalists to the polls as possible, and the president believes he has the secret recipe that motivates die-hard GOP voters: crime, border, guns, and military.
Expect to hear the formula many more times between now and November.