Last week, the Trump White House was in last-minute negotiations with Mexico in an attempt to stop the flow of migrant caravans which have been causing chaos at the U.S. southern border.
As a weapon in the face-off with Mexican officials, the president threatened to impose tariffs on imports from its southern neighbor if a deal could not be reached. This sent many Senate Republicans into a frenzy, as they rely on money from advocates of free trade/open borders such as the Koch Brothers, the Chamber of Commerce, and big business in general.
Well, after a week in Europe, first a State visit in England, and then commemorating D-Day in France, Trump arrived home on Friday, and delivered a deal, later that afternoon, thus avoiding the tariffs. You’d think Senators from his own party – especially those who actively tried to undermine him, would have been thrilled, and recognized the agreement with some kind of congratulatory tweet.
For example, even, Never Trump podcaster Ben Shapiro sent along a mea culpa.
Yet, the vast majority of the GOP Senators ignored the news, while others noted it without mentioning the president. A couple even shamelessly gave the credit to Mexico.
Here’s a roundup of tweets, filed into two categories (supporters during negotiations, and critics). It’s worth mentioning, there were 20 Senators who made public statements criticizing the president’s tactics, which either aided Mexico, or at the very least did not help Trump.
Of the 20 critics, only seven (7) found time to mention the deal, despite acting as if the world would be ending on Monday with the implementation of tariffs. Of the seven who announced it, not one mentioned their opposition to the tactic. The worst were the senators representing Iowa, Grassley and Joni Ernst, who both oddly credited Mexico for “coming through” and “stepping up,” respectively. The Iowa senior senator, in particular, got absolutely blitzed with replies.
Sen. Rob Portman (OH) was the only one to “commend” POTUS, while Pat Toomey (PA) and Mitch McConnell (KY) were (yawn) “glad” the deal was done while mentioning hypothetical taxes.
During the negotiations, two of Trump’s fiercest critics were Cory Gardner (CO) and Ted Cruz (TX) – especially Gardner, who accused Trump of “turning his back on American workers and consumers.” Cruz claimed the president was playing a “game of chicken” and his tariffs would “raise taxes on small businesses, and destroy jobs across America.” Neither found time to apologize for their incendiary comments, or at least recognize Trump’s deal-making prowess.
Meanwhile, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, who smugly predicted it was “above the pay grade” of Trump’s White House to get a deal done, has been too busy tweeting about the renovation of a visitor center’s rest room to bother owning up to her dead-wrong prediction.
No tariffs on Mexico. Mexico came through
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) June 8, 2019
Just got off the phone with @POTUS @realDonaldTrump He called with more good news on immigration. His great deal with Mexico should encourage Congress to do their job so tariffs aren’t threatened. We should work with the WH to close immigration loopholes and get humanitarian aid
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) June 8, 2019
My Statement On The Commitment To Help Secure Our Southern Border: pic.twitter.com/GTemWevr15
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) June 8, 2019
I commend @POTUS for working with the Mexican government to reach an agreement to stem the flow of people coming across our southern border from Central America. This agreement avoids tariffs going up on both sides, which would hurt our economy. https://t.co/pN9gtSJwOR
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) June 8, 2019
Iowans are breathing a sigh of relief: Mexico has stepped up to help us address the humanitarian crisis at our southern border, and we won’t feel the pinch from new tariffs with one of our biggest trading partners. My full statement: https://t.co/GPah2HwXAT
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) June 8, 2019
The Mexican government has pledged to do more than Congressional Ds to address this crisis: Trump announces deal to avoid tariffs on Mexico – Los Angeles Times https://t.co/WTPrHmuP0U
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) June 8, 2019
I'm glad the president has signed off on a deal in which Mexico will do more to help combat the crisis at our southern border. It's also reassuring that, as a result of this agreement, Americans will not be forced to pay much higher taxes on goods imported from Mexico. https://t.co/IMZxB3lzEl
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) June 8, 2019
Critics who went silent: Gardner, Cruz, Murkowski, Roy Blunt (MO), John Thune (SD), John Kennedy (LA), Mitt Romney (UT), Pat Roberts (KS), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Martha McSally (AZ), Johnny Isakson (GA).
By our count, there were only five U.S. Senators who publicly supported the president with media appearances and tweets leading up to the deal: Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, along with David Perdue (GA), Tom Cotton (AR) and Lindsey Graham (SC).
However, there was a large group of senators who remained quiet, which was the next best thing, I guess. Among this group was Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer who didn’t try to get cute with nuance and hypothetical word games. She was straight to the point and congratulated Trump on making the deal. It was easily the clearest recognition of a job well done.
Thom Tillis of North Carolina said he was always on Trump’s side, yet we can’t find any public statements to support his claim, although he was listed as a supporter through his silence. Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy sent along “kudos.”
This is tremendous news https://t.co/iwfRnzn6i9
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 8, 2019
Great news! @realDonaldTrump announces that Mexico has come through and agreed to be a strong partner to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.
Big win for America! https://t.co/I5zEmgTmKH
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) June 8, 2019
Glad tariffs are suspended & Mexico is stepping up. Kudos to @realDonaldTrump.
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) June 8, 2019
Congratulations @realdonaldtrump on reaching a deal with Mexico to stop unlawful border crossings without implementing tariffs. I’m grateful for your hard work to secure our border, keep this country safe, and continue trade with a key partner.
— Senator Deb Fischer (@SenatorFischer) June 8, 2019
I fully supported @realDonaldTrump's strategy of using tariffs to get Mexico to secure its border and stop the flow of illegal immigration to the U.S. President Trump proved he wasn’t bluffing, and his bold leadership just resulted in a huge win for America’s safety and security.
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) June 8, 2019
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) June 8, 2019
Others silent: Perdue, Graham, Cotton, John Boozman (Ark.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Mike Braun (IN) Todd Young (IN), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Jim Risch (Idaho), Richard Shelby (AL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), Steve Daines (MT), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), John Hoeven (ND), Tim Scott (SC), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Mike Rounds (SD), Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Enzi (WY), Richard Burr (NC), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), and John Barrasso (WY).