House Republican leaders are getting worried that too many in their caucus have had it too easy for too long when it comes to re-election. Swaddled in a warm cocoon of gerrymandered districts and a black Democratic president to work up the Republican base, some House Republicans have gotten soft and lazy. So GOP leaders are handing out warnings: raise money and hit the campaign trail, or else.
“This is a very tough environment for Republicans. If you’re getting outraised or if you haven’t started your campaign yet, you need to be scared and start today,” said Corry Bliss, executive director of the Ryan-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund. “Saying ‘I’ve never lost before, therefore I can never lose this time’ is not a campaign plan.”
It’s one of the reasons Ryan’s political team and NRCC officials have started holding a series of meetings with lawmakers from traditionally reliable GOP districts. Their message: Get ready for a roller coaster and begin your campaign in earnest now.
It’s too early to tell whether leadership’s message is registering. More than 40 GOP incumbents were outraised by Democratic challengers during the last three months of 2017, a staggering number that senior Republicans said is unacceptable and amounts to nothing short of laziness.
But don’t worry, guys. I’m sure you can ignore your leadership and everything will be just fine. Sit back and relax, go ahead and encourage the women you’re having affairs with to have abortions, get photographed in compromising situations … you’re in no danger at all.