President Trump held a rally in Duluth, Minnesota on June 20th and two of our state's three Republican congressmen were in attendance. Erik Paulsen was not one of them. Why would Paulsen skip this event? Is it because he doesn't actually support the President and his agenda for our country? One look at Paulsen's voting record tells us that is definitely not the case. FiveThirtyEight keeps an ongoing tally of how often every member of the House and Senate vote with or against the president. Paulsen's Trump score as of this writing is 97.6%. His Trump Score is higher than either Tom Emmer's or Jason Lewis', Minnesota's other Republican congressmen.
So, no, Paulsen's absence in Duluth wasn't due to lack of support for Trump but , rather, it is part of Paulsen's re-election strategy in a district that has voted for the Democratic candidate for President in the last three general elections. Paulsen is considered a vulnerable Republican and, as such, he's following the midterm election play book for vulnerable Republicans trying to do just enough to distance himself from Trump without alienating the president. The Washington Post detailed this strategy in a June 23rd article: The main election strategy of vulnerable House Republicans: Prove they’re not Trump.
Paulsen is working hard to manufacture a (false) moderate public image to appeal to the moderate voters in Minnesota's Third District. Voters should stay focused on Paulsen's voting record which tells the true story of his allegiance to Trump. Paulsen has been so loyal to Trump that during a visit from Vice President Mike Pence to our state in March, he singled out Paulsen thanking him for "fighting every day shoulder to shoulder with President Trump." There's no question that Paulsen deserves that praise.
Paulsen's received an A rating from the NRA. He doesn't support universal background checks or other common sense gun safety legislation. Paulsen "earned" a 0% grade from Clean Water Action and a 14% score from the League of Conservation voters. He's pro-gun lobby and anti-environment. He has repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Paulsen voted for the American Health Care Act which would have stripped health care from millions. He's a champion of Trump's tax bill, handing a huge tax cut to the wealthy while adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit. Now the GOP is planning to come after Medicare and Social Security to balance the budget. You can read details on Paulsen's ultra-conservative voting record here.
Paulsen's vulnerable this election cycle and he knows it. He didn't stand next to Trump for the photo op in Duluth, but you better believe he's standing next to Trump on every vote in Congress. That's why we are working so hard to Replace Paulsen. We need real representation in Minnesota's Third District.
Minnesotans for Real Representation is a grassroots organization in Minnesota's Third District with the goal of replacing Erik Paulsen in 2018.