Ahead of this week's congressional special election in Pennsylvania, Republicans insisted that Conor Lamb (D) was a liberal Democrat who had no business representing a conservative district that backed Donald Trump by a 20-point margin. After Lamb's apparent victory, GOP leaders decided they no longer agreed with their own talking points.
As The Atlantic reported, Trump went a little further while reflecting on the race yesterday at a private fundraiser in Missouri.
"The young man last night that ran, he said, 'Oh, I'm like Trump. Second Amendment, everything. I love the tax cuts, everything.' He ran on that basis," Trump said. "He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me. I said, 'Is he a Republican? He sounds like a Republican to me.'"
Look, I realize that the president, by his own admission, occasionally makes stuff up, but the GOP spin on Pennsylvania's special election is getting more than a little silly.
Jon Favreau, Barack Obama's former chief speechwriter, noted yesterday that Lamb's campaign platform included several core tenets, including support for universal health care and opposition to Trump's regressive tax plan. Perhaps most importantly, Lamb repeatedly emphasized his rejection of House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) agenda, including GOP support for cuts to Social Security.
On guns, Lamb isn't exactly Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), but he endorsed expanded background checks -- an issue that's faced repeated Republican resistance. On reproductive rights, Lamb said he's personally opposed to abortion, but as a matter of law, he backs a woman's right to choose.
If Republicans want to argue that Lamb isn't as progressive as the Democratic Party at the national level, fine. That's true. But before anyone believes that Lamb is "like Trump," let's try to remember that the apparent congressman-elect supports the Affordable Care Act and labor unions, while he opposes the GOP tax plan and entitlement cuts.
This is a candidate who "really embraced the president's policies and his vision"? Please.