LANSING, MI — House Speaker Jason Wentworth said it wasn’t former President Donald Trump’s fault that Republicans underperformed in Michigan, but the campaigns the candidates ran during the election cycle. mid-term of 2022.
Wentworth, R-Farwell, made the comments Thursday, Nov. 17, while addressing reporters during a roundtable in his Lansing office.
“Full responsibility on myself. We lost – I mean, fair and square, we lost,” he said. “I don’t think anyone imagined that the governor would act as well as she did. I think the House Democrats should thank Governor Whitmer for their majority, because I don’t believe the House Democrats got that majority; I think Governor Whitmer handed that majority over to House Democrats.
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Michigan Democrats swept nearly every race from the top of the ticket on Nov. 8, achieving a feat not seen since the early 1980s, when they won both chambers of the legislature and the governorship in a single election. . Not to mention the Democratic control that has been retained over the state Supreme Court, as well as the attorney general and secretary of state positions.
This, in turn, has prompted a barrage of finger-pointing by Republicans over massive casualties looking for who is to blame, including the party itself disparaging Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon for not be appealing enough to voters statewide. How she ran her campaign and the former president also received some of that blame.
But Wentworth, who will leave the legislature at the end of this year, said Republicans had no one to blame but themselves when it came to poor performance in the House, in particular.
He said the caucus, historically, ran “our own campaigns” and did not “rely on any outside entities.”
“We’re not counting on the GOP. We rely on our candidates and incumbents to get the job done, to meet their constituents, to lead grassroots campaigns,” Wentworth said. “So we didn’t lose for any reason other than not winning. That’s it. There is no one to blame. … I’m not going to point fingers at the GOP. I’m not going to point fingers at Trump. The only thing I’m going to do is pay tribute to Gretchen Whitmer for her victory.
His comments come in somewhat of a juxtaposition to those of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, who told a Jackson-area TV show earlier this week that Republicans lost because of Trump’s influence, coupled with the presence of reproductive rights on the ballot as well.
“His interests are for him, that became abundantly clear,” Shirkey said Monday, indicating that Trump’s motivated interests were most evident in the lack of funds to support Republican candidate campaigns.
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Wentworth, however, didn’t appear to share that same view when speaking to reporters on Thursday, saying “any of these aspects could have influenced… voters to come, or not to vote.” come to the polls”.
“And so, I can’t identify any problem, other than taking responsibility for losing the majority,” he said. “I will work hard to make sure I get it back next time. And I think next time there are a lot of things that will not work in favor of the Democrats. »
Wentworth added that he did not believe the House Democratic Caucus would be “able to straddle Governor Whitmer’s tails in 2024” and promised that the next election, which coincides with the 2024 presidential election, “would be very different”.
“In a year where the governor ran 11 points, nearly 11 points ahead, House Democrats should be over 60 seats and they are not. They are at 56. They barely squeaked the majority,” he said.
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