Former President Donald Trump has a new mission: he plans to unseat Lisa Murkowski, the Alaskan Republican Senator. Fresh from his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, Trump is raring to get the GOP back.
“I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski. She represents her state badly and her country even worse. I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be – in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator,” Trump said in a statement to Politico.
Murkowski Endorsed Haaland for Interior
The statement comes after Murkowski’s vote in favor of confirming Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior. She was the only Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee who approved the nomination. Murkowski said she “struggled” with her decision.
Specifically, she had to reconcile the Democrat’s past opposition to oil drilling with her heritage as a Native American, a well-represented population in Murkowski’s home state. However, Trump saw it differently. “Her vote to advance radical left Democrat Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior is yet another example of Murkowski not standing up for Alaska,” he said.
Previous Bad Blood
There is bad blood between Trump and the Alaska Senator, which fuels the former president’s desire to unseat Lisa Murkowski. She was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on the charge of inciting the January 6 Capitol riot. Earlier last year, she also said she struggled supporting Trump following his handling of the George Floyd protests.
As a result, Trump’s political team started the commission of polling on the Alaska senator. The survey results showed that Murkowski retains a 43% favorable rating in her home state, even as Trump scored 52%. In addition, Murkowski’s previous victories weren’t always won in a dominating fashion. In fact, there were close calls before, including a 2010 Republican primary loss to a Tea Party challenger. However, she bucked the odds at the time and won the general election.
Raising His Game
Recent activities show that Trump already upped his game in his bid to unseat Lisa Murkowski.
During CPAC, Trump called her out along with other RINOs. The two also were at odds over the Supreme Court nominations last year. Murkowski preferred that the former President defer the nomination of a new SC justice before the elections. Earlier, she also voted against the confirmation of now SC Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The poll and the Politico statement show that Trump is deadly serious in working to unseat Murkowski.
Meanwhile, the former President gave his endorsements to several incumbents in generally safe seats. This includes Senator Mike Crapo (ID), Tim Scott (SC), Todd Young (IN), and John Kennedy (LA). Consequently, his decision to back only chosen incumbents may conflict with the National Republican Senatorial Committee. GOP Committee chairman Rick Scott (FL) already declared that he would support incumbent Republican senators against primary challengers. Specifically, Scott said his support would remain even if the challengers have Trump’s support. In addition, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also said that Senate Republicans would support Murkowski regardless of Trump’s actions.
Unseat Lisa Murkowski
Despite the animosity, unseating Murkowski is easier said than done. Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system allows candidates to compete in an open primary. This means the top four candidates will head to the general election. Murkowski won’t need the Republican nomination to run. However, the Senator remains aware of her recent actions. She knows her guilty vote on Trump may cost her Trump’s support. I know that my actions, my vote may have political consequences. And I understand that. I absolutely understand that. But I can’t be afraid of that,” she remarked at the time.
Watch the ABC News report where Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski reacts to new evidence in the case to convict Trump:
Do you support Trump’s campaign to unseat Senator Murkowski? Also, do you agree with Trump’s description of Murkowski as a bad and disloyal Senator? Tell us what you think. Share your comments in the section below.