While other Democrats are vilifying Trump in Resistance states, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) launched his reelection campaign on Monday with a commercial that highlights 13 pieces of legislation President Donald Trump signed into law that he co-sponsored.
“Washington’s a mess, but that’s not stopping me from getting bills to help Montana signed into law by President Trump,” Tester says in the ad, according to the Washington Post, which first reported on it. “I’m out of fingers, but I’m not finished getting things done for Montana.”
The Post points out, though, that Tester “has stuck with Democrats on the major issues” like opposing the tax cuts, efforts to repeal Obamacare, and the White House’s compromise solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients that included $25 billion for the border wall and limits to some legal immigration. Tester also voted against a bill that would outlaw partial-birth abortions after 20 weeks.
Tester is one of 10 Democratic Senators running for reelection in a state Trump won in 2016, and Tester, according to recent polling, is one of five Senators who is facing serious trouble, currently trailing an “unnamed Republican” by double digits. Trump received 56.2% of the vote in 2016 while Hillary Clinton got 35.7%, and a majority of Montanans (52%) approve of Trump’s job performance while 47% disapprove.
When Trump signed the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, the Senator from Big-Sky country, aware of Trump’s popularity in Montana, issued a press release that announced: “President Donald Trump signed U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s 13th bill into law, which will result in improved phone service across rural Montana.”
But as the Post notes, even if Tester, who is known to carry 40-pound roller bags full of meat from Montana when he travels to D.C., “runs a perfect campaign, and Republicans put up an average candidate, the race is likely to be close” in a state in which Republican Greg Gianforte won a special election for Montana’s lone House seat even after he body-slammed a left-wing reporter the day before the election.