Trump gave a live televised speech Wednesday morning after Democrats seized control of the U.S. House in the midterm elections. Casten’s victory turned a longtime GOP stronghold into a critical national win for Democrats.
In his speech, Trump listed Republican candidates who lost Tuesday night after keeping their distance from the president during the campaign. He gave nods of approval to Downstate U.S. Reps. Mike Bost and Rodney Davis.
“Peter Roskam didn’t want the embrace,” Trump said.
The president, however, did not mention U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren’s loss Tuesday night to Democrat Lauren Underwood in the neighboring 14th District. Nearly two weeks before the campaign, Hultgren traveled more than 300 miles south to Murphysboro to get a mention and brief on-stage appearance with Trump.
Nevertheless, the president loomed large over Roskam’s re-election bid.
Roskam called Trump’s showing in office as a “mixed bag,” emphasizing a booming economy under Republican control while distancing himself from the president’s inflammatory language. He tried to keep the president’s supporters on board while also appealing to independent and centrist GOP voters who do not like the president, contending that he stood up to the president when necessary and does not condone Trump’s often caustic Twitter postings.
Casten was not shy about criticizing Trump and tried to connect Roskam with the president throughout the campaign. Casten also touted his energy background to talk about climate change and spoke often about issues that may resonate with the district’s many college-educated, middle-class voters: gun control, health care and the potential ramifications of the Republican tax bill on state and local taxes.
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December 4, 2018 at 09:15PM