GOP learns not to cross president
Don’t cross President Donald Trump.
That’s the lesson being learned by Republicans after Trump critic and GOP Rep. Mark Sanford lost his primary election in South Carolina hours after the president tweeted that he was “very unhelpful.”
It’s a cautionary tale for Republicans in Congress as they try to win elections by showing loyalty to Trump supporters while also maintaining some independence as members of a co-equal branch of government. One wrong turn — or in Sanford’s case, many — and they could endure the wrath of a president who is quick to attack detractors as enemies, even those from his own party. A single presidential tweet can doom a career.
Sanford is the second incumbent House Republican to lose a primary this year — and the latest victim of intense divisions among the GOP in the Trump era.
The president took a victory lap on Twitter early Wednesday, touting his success in ousting a foe and reinforcing, once again, that the Republican Party is Trump’s party now.