Nevada Republican Rep. Joe Heck was booed by Republicans when he un-endorsed Donald Trump over Trump’s sexual assault bragging. But Heck wasn’t taking a pure, principled, “the votes be damned” kind of stand there, as his remarks at a recent fundraiser make clear:
"I want to support him, I really do," Heck, a Nevada Republican, said during a 90-minute discussion during a Las Vegas fundraiser for his Senate campaign.
"But he has got to change his tone and he's got to be -- I don't want to make him into a politician or make him into the same thing he is running against -- but he has got to realize he is not going to win this race by appealing to the 20% or 30% of the Republican base," Heck added.
In other words, Heck was willing to risk the boos of that 20 or 30 percent of the Republican base, because as a Senate candidate in a battleground state in a presidential year, he needs to broaden his appeal. But Heck was fine with Trump right up to the moment he wasn’t. In September, he said he’d have no problem with Trump having the nuclear codes. So if Heck was suddenly acting on any shred of principle here, it was awfully conveniently aligned with his electoral interests.
Nevada voters will have all sorts of chances to see through Heck’s posturing, with the Clinton campaign targeting the race and Heck’s Democratic opponent, Catherine Cortez Masto, holding a slight edge in the polling average.
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