Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) has spent the past year voting in lockstep with Trump’s wishes, yet refuses to say whether or not he wants Trump to campaign for him in 2018.
Axios contacted vulnerable Republicans, including Knight, to ask if they would want Trump to campaign with them. Knight, along with 14 other Republicans, refused to answer.
Knight’s coyness about the possibility of campaigning with Trump mirrors his “will he or won’t he vote for Trump?” drama in the lead-up to the 2016 election. After Trump admitted on an “Access Hollywood” tape to being a serial sexual predator, Knight compared the behavior to the “horrific reality of violence toward women,” saying he was “deeply disturbed.” Knight boldly declared he would not support Trump.
But on election night, Knight admitted he did, in fact, vote for Trump.
Since then, Knight has stuck by his man. Constituents wanted to keep the Affordable Care Act or see a bipartisan effort to improve the law. Knight voted for a partisan repeal of the law, a bill that would have caused 24 million people to lose health insurance.
One California Republican wrote, “My constituents don’t deserve a tax increase.” Knight disagreed, and supported the bill.
Unfortunately, the Republican tax bill will “substantially increase the share of total federal personal income taxes” paid by Californians, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Or, as one California Republican put it, “almost all of the bill’s tax cuts would be distributed to other states — leaving California with the bill.”
Whether it is health care or offshore oil drilling, Knight has tied his political future to Trump.
Knight’s timidness when it comes to campaigning with Trump is a stark departure from the aggressive manner in which Knight has embraced Trump’s policy ideas.
Whether or not Knight physically stands next to Trump, voters know Knight’s votes are with Trump almost every time.