2018 midterms

Trump Says It Won’t Be His Fault If Republicans Lose Midterms

Trump would definitely take credit if his party wins in November, but won’t take the rap if it doesn’t. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

It is the sort of thing only an amoral narcissist like the 43rd president would say: After doing everything within his power to make the midterm elections even more of a referendum on his presidency that it already was, Donald Trump is now shrugging off any responsibility for a possible defeat, as the Associated Press reports:

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he won’t accept the blame if Republicans lose the House in November.

Trump said he believes he is “helping” Republican candidates as he campaigns ahead of crucial midterm elections next month. With Republicans facing headwinds, Trump said he thinks the GOP is “going to do well,” arguing that “it feels to me very much like” 2016 …

Of his efforts on the campaign trail, Trump said: “I don’t believe anybody has ever had this kind of impact.” He resisted comparisons to President Barack Obama, who took responsibility for the Democrats’ defeat in 2010 by acknowledging that his party got “shellacked.”

So if Republicans do poorly on November 6, their leader will apparently argue that they would have done much worse without his strenuous efforts, not to mention his ginormous popularity (as measured, exclusively, by Rasmussen, with maybe a few points added). Or perhaps he will repeat the empty and inflammatory claim he made to explain his failure to win the popular vote in 2016:

He would have more difficulty brushing off the midterms as being a reflection of congressional GOP problems rather than his own, after making these remarks at a recent rally:

I’m not on the ticket, but I am on the ticket because this is also a referendum about me and the disgusting gridlock that [Democrats will] put this country through.

It’s a sort of heads-I-win, tails-you-lose proposition Trump is offering his party. A victory will be all his, but a defeat will be someone else’s. In that circumstance Republicans will undoubtedly join a long string of people in the president’s life who have taken a fall for his mistakes.

Trump: Not My Fault If Republicans Lose Midterms