by Steve Benen
Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country
* Seth Grossman, the Republican congressional hopeful in New Jersey under pressure to quit over his racist rhetoric, appears to be digging his heels in. Yesterday, the GOP candidate said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers is the one who should resign for failing to do more to support Donald Trump’s agenda.
* With the Trump administration’s trade policies hitting the Midwest especially hard, Vice President Mike Pence is launching a campaign swing through the region this week, with stops in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa. Politico reports that Pence is, among other things, “quietly setting up one-on-one meetings with major Midwestern donors.”
* Rep. Kevin Cramer, the Republican Senate hopeful in North Dakota, said this week that he recently gave the president some guidance on choosing a Supreme Court nominee: “I said my only preference would be don’t succumb to the pressure to make this some sort of an affirmative action pick.”
* Trump yesterday promoted an Emerson College “ePoll,” which he said found that most Americans “feel that they are better off under President Trump than they were under President Obama.” That’s not quite what the poll found.
* California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), wrapping up his second term and not making plans to run for any other office, still has nearly $15 million in his campaign coffers. Asked about his plans for the money, the Democratic governor said, “Having a fund increases one’s relevance. You want me to spend it and have no more money and nobody is going to call anymore? That’s really dumb.”
* Sen. Dean Heller (R), facing a tough re-election fight in Nevada, has launched a fundraising appeal over Democratic opposition to Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s conservative Supreme Court nominee. Though the Republican senator is now condemning “obstructionist behavior,” Heller joined the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland two years ago.
* And it looks like the Republican National Committee is poised to choose Charlotte, N.C., as the host city for its 2020 convention. Interest from other cities was reportedly limited. (The RNC asked Dallas to submit a bid, for example, but it declined.)