President Trump has chosen to double down on immigration as a key issue he will use to beat Democrats in 2018, believing it continues to resonate with voters despite the controversy over family separations at the border, according to Jim Antle of the Washington Examiner.
From the Examiner piece:
President Trump believes the Democrats are vulnerable on immigration and crime ahead of the midterm elections, so he keeps highlighting those issues in the run-up to November.
You can see it in presidential tweets endorsing or opposing candidates. The Democrats are invariably “weak on borders” and crime while his preferred Republican is “strong.” Trump has even called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., an “MS-13 lover.” It was true again at the White House on Monday where he showered federal immigration authorities with praise.
“Blue wave means crime. It means open borders. Not good,” Trump said of potential Democratic victories in the fall. The president held the event as he and other Republicans try to capitalize on Democratic calls for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We will not stand for the vile smears, the hateful attacks, and the vicious assaults on the courageous men and women of ICE, and Border Patrol, and law enforcement,” Trump declared. “We will protect those who protect us.” . . .
“The Democrats have positioned themselves to be anti-ICE and pro-open borders,” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist. “I think that is a losing issue for them and clearly so does the president, which is why he is pounding away at it.”
Bolding is mine.
Republicans have to make sure the base is excited about heading to the voting booth. Sympathy for families separated at the border doesn’t mean Republicans have changed their view that illegal immigration must be stopped.