Whether it’s cutting PA jobs, carpetbagging, or past anti-Trump remarks, McCormick is coming under fire
PENNSYLVANIA – While David McCormick is waiting to register his candidacy while running an ad campaign “violating…federal election law,” the rest of the Pennsylvania GOP’s Senate primary field has wasted no time in hitting the Connecticut hedge fund executive for his myriad of vulnerabilities. The primary that is already defined by infighting is only getting messier.
New reporting from Politico, which identifies McCormick as “a former hedge fund CEO” who has “overseen more than $1 billion in investments in China,” highlights some of McCormick’s vulnerabilities, specifically his previous anti-Trump comments, which could prove to be costly in a “Super MAGA Trump primary”:
McCormick’s past remarks could threaten his chances of landing an all-important endorsement from Trump.
Last month, Trump watched the January 2021 clip of McCormick chiding Trump’s rhetoric, according to a person close to the former president. Trump at the time also reviewed a document outlining other comments McCormick has made, though it’s unclear who prepared the list and what was included in it.
The source said Trump didn’t have a strong reaction to learning about McCormick’s past statements. But unlike other Republicans who criticized Trump during the 2016 election, some of McCormick’s critiques are more current, which could work against him.
“The sliding scale is the more recent your insults have been, the more they weigh” to the former president, said the source close to Trump. “To that extent, it’s not great to be David McCormick today.”
“It’s almost insurmountable,” said Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), an Oz backer, referring to McCormick’s past comments on Trump, as well as business philosophies that the congressman argued were at odds with Trump’s “America First” agenda. He noted that McCormick will have to surpass Oz’s star power, adding that “it’s Santa Claus, Coca-Cola and Dr. Oz in a lot of American households.”
In addition to anti-Trump comments, McCormick will have to deal with previous opposition to Trump’s agenda, specifically his ties to China and opposition to buy American policies:
At the 2017 Duke University event, McCormick said an America First economic policy could “potentially” undermine the country’s ability to build multilateral coalitions. In March, McCormick co-authored a paper for the American Enterprise Institute urging policymakers to do more to attract skilled immigrant workers. In a 2019 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, McCormick said populism was leading to “political extremes” that made it difficult to move the country and economy forward.
In the same interview, McCormick declined to say whether he supported Trump-imposed tariffs, noting it was important to properly “manage” the United States’ relationship with China.
The rest of the GOP field has wasted no time in attacking McCormick. On This Week in Pennsylvania, Jeff Bartos took a swipe at McCormick, Oz and Sands for their carpetbagging:
The people of Pennsylvania, specifically now in the Republican primary, should be asking themselves two questions to all of the candidates running: number one, where did you live during the pandemic? Where did you live during the pandemic? And number two, what did you do to help the people of Pennsylvania when their schools were shut down, when their businesses were shut down…I think the contrast couldn’t be clearer, I spent the pandemic raising money, getting it out the door to help my fellow Pennsylvanians. I think everyone else in the field was living somewhere else and doing other things.
Bartos isn’t the only candidate attacking the carpetbaggers. On stage with Republican Governor candidate Doug Mastriano, Kathy Barnette noted how out of staters have dominated the Republican Senate field:
“Fortunately, you don’t have carpetbaggers in your race. I do. I got three carpetbaggers who jumped on their little white horses and came galloping in.”
Pennsylvania Democratic spokesperson Jack Doyle issued the following statement:
“Whether it’s cutting Pennsylvania jobs, ties to China, anti-Trump statements, or his residency in Connecticut, it’s clear that McCormick is yet another flawed candidate with deep pockets in this field. This is going to be a messy, expensive primary that damages whatever candidate is able to limp out of it for the general.”