- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

President Trump on Wednesday urged North Dakota voters to oust Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in the midterms, calling her an incorrigible liberal who was out of step with the state’s conservative values.

At a rally in Fargo to boost Republican candidate Kevin Cramer, the president said the incumbent Ms. Heitkamp betrayed her promise to be an “independent voice.”

“Instead she went to Washington and immediately joined Chuck — you know who Chuck is — and Nancy,” he told a crowd of nearly 6,000 at a Fargo hockey arena.

He was referring to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“They now have a new leader,” he added. “Who’s the new leader — Maxine Waters.”

Rep. Waters, a California Democrat who has long been a far-left voice in the party, has gained new notoriety with her recent calls for citizens to confront Trump administration officials in restaurants, gas stations or any public place.

Lumping Ms. Heitkamp in with the liberal trinity in front of the cheering crowd underscored her uphill run in deep red North Dakota.

Mr. Trump said he needed more Republicans in Congress, especially in the narrowly-divided Senate where he will soon seek the confirmation of a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Heidi will vote no on any pick we make to the Supreme Court,” he said.

Mr. Trump ticked off a list of votes cast by Ms. Heitkamp that challenged conservative values, including votes against repealing Obamacare, a crackdown on sanctuary cities and banning late-term abortions.

“You need a senator who doesn’t just talk like they are from North Dakota but votes like they are from North Dakota, and that’s Kevin Cramer,” said the president.

Running in a state Mr. Trump carried in 2016 with 63 percent of the vote, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in this year’s midterms.

She trailed Mr. Cramer by 4 points in a Mason-Dixon survey two weeks ago, which is a sobering poll number for the first-term senator.

Fargo was the latest stop in a campaign tour that in seven days took Mr. Trump to Minnesota, Nevada and South Carolina.

In South Carolina on Monday night, Mr. Trump showed the strength of his coattails with a rally that helped push Gov. Henry McMaster across the finish line in a GOP runoff election the following day.

The Fargo rally honed Mr. Trump’s stump speech that will be repeated throughout the campaign season. It included a review of his accomplishments, from the booming economy to get-tough trade policies to rebuilding the military and reviving the space program.

He said the increasingly leftward movement of the Democratic Party was making it harder for them to realize their goal of taking control of the House and Senate in November.

“Their blue wave is really sputtering pretty badly,” he said.

Some Republicans have been asking Mr. Trump to more aggressively attack Ms. Hietkamp, whom he has previously given friendly treatment, such as giving her a front-row spot at a recent signing ceremony for a major banking bill.

Soon after Mr. Trump’s 2016 win, he met with Ms. Heitkamp in New York to discuss a Cabinet post, and she has said he tried to persuade her to switch parties.

When Trump traveled to North Dakota last fall to promote the tax cut bill, Ms. Heitkamp flew in with him on Air Force One and joined him on stage, where he called her “a good woman.”

At the time, the president was cajoling Ms. Heitkamp for her vote on the tax cut bill. She voted against it.

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