News & Politics

This Congressional Candidate Won't Sweat Trump

(CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

From its primary contest on Tuesday, Minnesota gained an able candidate for Congress in what will be a hotly contested race. Before running, Jason Lewis found success as a nationally syndicated talk radio host and author of Power Divided Is Power Checked: The Argument for States’ Rights. He won the Republican Party’s endorsement to replace outgoing Education and Workforce chairman John Kline. With his victory in the primary, Lewis now faces a hungry Democrat opponent backed by a party establishment that views the once solid red district as winnable.

One factor contributing to the Democrat strategy is the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. The gaffe prone nominee has placed a number of Republican districts in play. Lewis called in to the Twin Cities News Talk morning radio show on Wednesday to discuss his primary victory with a panel, including host Andrew Lee and state Representative Nick Zerwas. Lee asked about Trump and received an outstanding answer from Lewis.

Andrew Lee: Now, for better or for worse, it’s inevitable with a race like this and the national attention that it’s going to receive, people are going to call on you to respond to things that [Donald Trump] says, or a controversy that he may be embroiled in… Your message is very specific, and your message is very clear. You’re talking about reforming the tax code. You’re talking about dialing back some of the damage done to the health insurance industry by the Affordable Care Act. Do you anticipate it to be a challenge to stay on your message when the media and others are going to be coming at you to get you to respond to things that Donald Trump might have said?

Jason Lewis: Well, they’re already doing that, and that’s the Democratic strategy too. They want to tie everybody… to Donald Trump. And as I told someone last night, look, if you want me to comment on what Donald Trump says, I’ll be happy to do that as soon as you get Hillary Clinton to comment on the way her husband treats women. You guys want to go down this road, we can go down this road all day, but it doesn’t fix problems.

Nick Zerwas: Well, Jason, you’re 100% right. They’re not about to ask [your Democrat opponent] Angie Craig what she thinks about Hillary Clinton’s handling of Benghazi or her extreme carelessness with her email server. So, certainly, why should you be in a position to comment on [the] positions of Donald Trump…

Jason will be great on the campaign trail, due in large part to his ability to agilely respond to questions and stick his landing on message. If other Republican candidates follow suit, the party just might weather November’s storm.