Posted: 8:21 pm Wednesday, July 6th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
As Donald Trump meets with Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate on Thursday, the presumptive GOP nominee for President is still having difficulty attracting widespread support among elected Republicans in the Congress, with less than two weeks until the party gathers to officially nominate him.
Trump will meet separately with GOP members of the House and Senate – but it was obvious that a number of those Republicans may be doing something else at the time.
Sen. Portman says he has to "check his schedule" when asked if he will attend the Trump meeting tomorrow.
— Kristina L. Peterson (@kristinapet) July 6, 2016
Sen Rubio not planning to attend Trump meeting tmrw, will be presiding over Senate at the time. Says others will benefit more anyway.
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) July 6, 2016
But even some of those who will be there to listen to Trump want to send a message to the GOP standard bearer, like Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma.
“The Senator will look for Trump to be more clear on where he stands on a variety of policy positions,” a spokesperson for Lankford told our Washington Bureau.
“The Senator will also probably encourage Trump to be more respectful and civil in how he talks about people.”
Others claimed they didn’t even know Trump was going to be in town.
Trump’s arrival coincided with a lot of discussion in the hallways about whether any Senators would be his choice for running mate – but that also was not running in Trump’s favor, as Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) withdrew his name, and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) made clear she wanted to focus on Iowa, not the race for President.
Sen. Bob Corker's office confirms the senator withdrew his name from consideration to be Trump's VP pick @FOX13Memphis
— Dorey Scheimer (@DoreyScheimer) July 6, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s campaign quickly moved in to mock Trump and his running mate selection process.
“Republicans like Donald Trump so much they don’t want to be his VP,” the Clinton camp said in a statement.
On Thursday afternoon, Trump will also sit down with House Republicans, where there continues to be resistance as well to his campaign bid.
The last time Trump was in Washington to meet with rank-and-file Republicans, he made no statement to reporters, and was barely seen by cameras.
Two weeks from today he will be all over the television, ready to accept the Republican nomination for President in 2016.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.