President Donald Trump just wrapped up his tax reform speech in Mandan and, as I predicted, he used the opportunity to turn up the heat on Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
Though he was uncharacteristically gentle about it.
During a portion of his speech where he was talking about President Ronald Reagan’s tax reforms, he noted that those policies were passed by a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and were supported by a majority of Democrats in the Senate.
“Including a Democratic Senator from the great state of North Dakota,” Trump said.
Then, apparently looking at Senator Heitkamp off-camera, he said “did you hear that Heidi?”
“I’m not putting her on the spot,” the President said after the comments, which got a laugh from the crowd.
But, of course, he was putting Senator Heitkamp on the spot. He was pointing out that tax reforms similar to what he’s proposing have been supported by Democrats, including North Dakota Democrats, in the past.
That puts Heitkamp, who has worked hard to cultivate a perception of herself as a centrist unafraid to cross the political divide, in a tough spot ahead of what promises to be a tough re-election campaign next year.
For what it’s worth, at the beginning of the speech Trump introduced the congressional delegation including Senators Heitkamp, John Hoeven, as well as Congressman Kevin Cramer and Cramer got, by far, the biggest cheer from the crowd.
Heitkamp? Some polite clapping.
It was a Trump crowd, so maybe that’s not surprising.
Anyway, here’s the full speech from the President if you missed it: