Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) is embracing President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out ‘subversion’ at VA MORE’s confrontational model as she seeks to carry on to a hotly contested New York district thought of a toss-up race on this fall’s midterm elections.
Whereas insisting that she shouldn’t be tied to the president, the freshman lawmaker at occasions feels like a mini-Trump.
She’s declared warfare on the “twist and smear” media, which she blamed final month for not speaking about how many individuals who commit mass murders find yourself being Democrats.
“I name it twist and smear — that’s what the media tends to do,” stated Tenney, who ran the newspaper division of Mid-York Press, Inc., her household’s industrial printing and manufacturing agency.
“Some are higher than others,” Tenney added. “I do assume the one greatest damaging power in our nation is the media. We’ve misplaced our method.”
Tenney echoes Trump’s speaking factors on immigration and jobs — a technique that appears good in her district, which Trump gained by 16 factors.
She’s additionally fairly powerful on Democrats, sounding virtually Trumpian in her remarks.
“They don’t love our nation,” Tenney stated of the minority celebration throughout a CNN interview final month concerning the president’s State of the Union deal with. “I believed it was horrible that they didn’t clap for very American concepts, and why? Why not? They’re nearly ‘resist,’ and what does ‘resist’ imply? Impede.”
The make-up of Tenney’s district has created fertile floor for Trump’s populist combine.
The district is 91 % white, with a school commencement charge of 24 %. Whereas Trump cruised to victory right here over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC ‘got scammed’ into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWhat sort of senator will Mitt Romney be? Not a backbencher, even day one Trump endorses Romney in Utah Senate race Obama failed on Russia; Trump must get it right MORE carried it by lower than 1 share level in 2012.
Chris Grant, a GOP marketing consultant and head of Huge Canine Methods, described Tenney as “Trump earlier than Trump.”
“The setting will likely be totally different in every race, however Tenney has achieved a sensible job of delivering for constituents on native points, and standing with the President when it helps her district,” Grant stated. “That’s fairly good politics from the place I sit.”
Remington Arms, a firearms and ammunition producer situated within the district, has laid off greater than 100 workers, whereas Common Electrical has considerably scaled again its operations within the area through the years.
“He’s widespread in my district,” Tenney says of Trump, noting folks stood in line for hours to see him when he visited the realm earlier than the New York presidential primaries.
“There are occasions when he makes me cringe,” she added, “however he’s not a politician. He’s very instinctual; he’s very earnest.”
In a 30-minute, wide-ranging interview exterior the Home chamber, she insisted she is standing for her group and never Trump, although she provides that “lots of the issues that Trump stands for are points which might be in keeping with why he gained by such a big margin in our district.”
The Cook dinner Political Report casts Tenney’s race as a toss-up.
She’s been out-fundraised by Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, whom Tenney has tied to “San Francisco liberal” Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiLawmakers feel pressure on guns Former Pelosi challenger: I have no ‘interest in running for leadership again’ Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March MORE (Calif.), the Home Democratic chief.
And her brash model has additionally landed her in sizzling water at occasions — together with when she linked Democrats to mass murders in remarks about final month’s highschool taking pictures in Florida.
Tenney, 57, instructed a radio host that “many of those people who commit the mass murders find yourself being Democrats, however the media doesn’t speak about that both.”
Pressed by The Hill concerning the feedback, Tenney initially rebuffed the query and stated the difficulty has been requested and answered “a thousand occasions.”
However she then took a number of minutes to make clear the remarks, saying she was merely declaring that mass shootings will not be all Republicans’ fault — and he or she additionally snuck in just a few jabs on the media as a part of her line of protection.
“That is the place I name it ‘twist and smear.’ They slandered me,” Tenney stated. “Belief me, if [the Orlando nightclub shooter] had been a registered Republican, it might have been entrance web page, high of the road, in all places.”
It’s not simply Trump’s model the place Tenney mirrors the president; she has additionally taken a slew of coverage positions which might be in lockstep with the White Home.
On immigration, she has labeled the Trump administration’s proposed answer to an Obama-era immigration program “beneficiant” and “affordable,” whereas calling a extra reasonable method from some Senate Republicans “loopy.”
She’s additionally one in every of 13 Home Republicans who known as on Lawyer Common Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsUnder pressure, Trump shifts blame for Russia intrusion Overnight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won’t stand MORE to nominate a second particular counsel to research Clinton, nonetheless a frequent Trump goal.
In the case of taxes, Tenney says the tax-cut invoice has been an enormous boon to her district, and he or she credited the legislation with already bringing some jobs again to the realm.
However Tenney made clear she doesn’t agree with the president on each difficulty, underscoring that the pursuits of her constituents might not at all times align with Trump.
Tenney, a member of the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation (NRA), is a staunch defender of the Second Modification.
Whereas Trump has expressed some openness to elevating the age requirement to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21, Tenney has expressed way more skepticism to the thought. She can also be fiercely against a ban on assault weapons.
“Remington Arms was based in my district. Now we have a robust custom of people that use firearms,” Tenney stated. “Have you ever used an AR-15? It’s essentially the most generally used rifle. I don’t contemplate that to be an assault rifle.”
Trump defied GOP orthodoxy final week when he slapped steep tariffs on metal and aluminum imports, infuriating members of his personal celebration.
Tenney admitted she has “blended feelings” concerning the proposal, declaring that she considers herself a free-trade Republican.
However she was not a vocal critic of the tariff plan and didn’t signal on to a Republican-led letter urging Trump to desert the thought — maybe an indication of the recognition of Trump’s place on commerce in her district.
“Trump gained in our district largely due to the commerce difficulty and the commerce imbalance,” Tenney stated. “We’ve acquired to save lots of our base and people who work in our communities.”