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GOP Senators: Helsinki Summit Not Likely to Affect Midterm Elections

GOP Senators: Helsinki Summit Not Likely to Affect Midterm Elections

The rash of criticism President Donald Trump received following his summit last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin will not likely affect voters' decisions in the fall midterm elections, according to two Republican senators.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he believed the news cycles under Trump will have long moved on to other issues by November and the uproar over the Russia summit would not be a policy issue that would resonate with voters, the Washington Examiner reported.

"I don't think it's the kind of foreign policy issue that has a lot of long-term resonance with voters, and might not even have much short-term resonance with voters," Blunt said. "You've got to assume that the president will bring up many things between now and then that will send people on a different direction.

"People are quickly ready to move onto other things. If there's one lesson to be learned from Donald Trump, it's how quickly people are willing to move onto whatever comes next," Blunt added. "There may be things that last from here 'til November, but I wouldn't think this kind of foreign policy discussion would be one of them."

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he thought the concerns of voters this fall would be centered on topics closer to home, such as the economy or Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

"What matters is how somebody's going to vote on the Supreme Court justice. I think what's going to matter is how they're going to embrace economic policies that cut taxes," Gardner said. "They're going to ask questions about whether they support ideas Democrats have to abolish ICE."

"When you're voting in November, you're going to be voting on those issues," he added.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, admitted voters' concerns are oftentimes about the economy, but felt Trump's summit with Putin would play into election day decisions.

"The first thing on people's minds are pocketbook issues," Van Hollen said. "This is why it's so important to have an independent-minded senator who is going to hold the president accountable on some of these issues … I think [Helsinki] is going to have greater lasting impact."

Trump received harsh backlash following the Helsinki summit by downplaying claims Russia meddled in the U.S. 2016 presidential election, thereby appearing to discount his own intelligence services. Trump changed course the next day and reversed his position, stating he believed Russia did play a part in trying to alter the elections.

Published at Sat, 21 Jul 2018 15:03:53 +0000