WASHINGTON — A Pennsylvania congressman lashed out at President Trump’s dismissal of House Republicans who lost their races, charging that the president just wanted to “piss on” GOP lawmakers.
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.), who was first elected in 2014, announced back in March that he wouldn’t run for a third term.
At a White House press conference today, Trump slammed Republicans who did “very poorly” in competitive districts because they said “let’s stay away” from the president.
“I’m not sure that I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it. Carlos Curbelo, Mike Coffman — too bad, Mike — Mia Love. I saw Mia Love. She called me all the time to help her with a hostage situation, being held hostage in Venezuela. But Mia Love gave me no love,” Trump said. “And she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
“And Barbara Comstock was another one. I mean, I think she could have won that race, but she didn’t want to have any embrace. For that I don’t blame her. But she lost, substantially lost,” he continued. “Peter Roskam didn’t want the embrace. Erik Paulsen didn’t want the embrace.”
Costello, citing Trump’s quip about Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), tweeted, “Different people can be disgusted by different things. This is one such thing for me. And I don’t use the word ‘disgusted’ lightly.”
“To deal w harassment & filth spewed at GOP MOC’s in tough seats every day for 2 yrs, bc of POTUS; to bite ur lip more times you’d care to; to disagree & separate from POTUS on principle & civility in ur campaign; to lose bc of POTUS & have him piss on u. Angers me to my core,” he added.
The congressman told CNN later that “independent-minded, center-right Republicans” have been constantly weathering criticism for Trump’s “ignorant, mean, name-calling snide-type stuff that you wouldn’t want your 12-year-old to say, let alone the president of the United States to say.”
“All these members were running in districts where his unfavorable numbers were between 55 and 60 percent. And they had to deal with him and the fact that he was not favorable every single day,” he said. “They would have — if he was viewed favorably, they would have won. And so for them to deal with all that and the day after losing very tough races to have the president mock them like that, I just think is outrageous and it bothers me every single time I hear it. I’m sorry if I’m a little emotional about it.”
Costello said Trump is “dancing on somebody’s grave” and “it’s highly inappropriate and it’s deeply offensive.”
“And every single one of those members took tough votes in order to advance a center-right agenda because they believed in it but they took a lot of heat for it. And the president should be thanking them for putting up the tough votes and advancing an agenda, which I believe, we are better off economically because of a lot of the policies that have been implemented,” he added.
“…He says if they would have just embraced him they would have won, which is a total joke. Nobody believes that. But then to insult them and mock them on their way out, it’s just the height of pettiness. It’s just — it’s not excusable.”