Cramer: Trump is encouraging me to run against Heitkamp
WASHINGTON-Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., says he received a phone call from President Donald Trump encouraging him to run against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., whom the president has called a "good woman."Cramer said he received the call from Trump w...
WASHINGTON-Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., says he received a phone call from President Donald Trump encouraging him to run against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., whom the president has called a "good woman."
Cramer said he received the call from Trump within the past week. "He strongly encouraged me to run," Cramer told The Hill, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill in Washington. Cramer said he would wait until tax reform, a major Republican legislative priority, is addressed before making his decision.
"I told him I won't do anything before tax reform," Cramer told The Hill. "And [Trump] said, 'That's a good idea.'" Cramer said he supports the GOP tax plan released last week.
Cramer, who won his third in 2016, has long been a Trump backer. But Trump has at times tried to court Heitkamp, a moderate whose positions on energy, for example, sometimes are in sync with the administration.
So far, the only announced GOP challenger for Heitkamp's seat is Tom Campbell, a farmer, businessman and state legislator from Grafton.
Although Trump remains popular in North Dakota, his approval rating has been slipping. After winning 63 percent of the vote last November, Trump had an approval rating in January of 55.8 percent, which slid to 50.9 percent, according to a tracking poll by the Morning Consult.
Heitkamp's approval rating also has slipped in the Morning Consult tracking poll. Heitkamp, considered a vulnerable senator up for reelection, had an approval rating of 55 percent in the latest Morning Consult poll, published last week, down from an earlier 60-percent approval rating.