“We are going to flip the House for the first time in a 2-year presidential cycle since 1952.”

Emmer Optimistic About GOP Prospects in the Coming Campaign

WASHINGTON, DC – In remarks yesterday morning before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society, National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Emmer (MN-6) expressed confidence about GOP prospects to win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November election, and said that voters will have a clear choice to make when they cast their ballots this year.

“We are going to flip the House for the first time in a two-year presidential cycle since 1952,” the Minnesota Republican boldly predicted.  “You can’t overstate the importance of the 2020 election. Voters have a choice to make, and the choice is pretty simple — do we want freedom, or do we want socialism? … Remember, we have people who were elected in the last cycle, and they didn’t choose to use Bernie Sanders’ term of democratic socialism. They came in and proudly pronounced, ‘We are socialists.’

“If you have any concern whatsoever as to whether I’m credible in this regard, go look up the website for Justice Democrats. You will see that my grandfather’s Democrat Party — the party that my grandfather loved so dearly — is dying.  They want to fundamentally change the Democrat party to the Socialist Party of America.

“It is that big of a choice. As people are going in to cast their ballot, they need to understand that one side wants government to control your life, and the other side wants you to control your life. It’s that simple a choice.”

Emmer was elected to the House in 2014 and was selected by his colleagues to be Chairman of the NRCC in November 2018.  In addition to recruiting candidates and raising funds, he said one of his main priorities during his first year in the job has been defining the Democrats for what they have become – a party that is drifting toward socialism, and being driven by the far left extremes.

“Bernie Sanders is the gift that just keeps on giving because he refuses to give it up,” Emmer said, referring to the Socialist Senator who has a shockingly decent chance of becoming the Democrat Party’s 2020 presidential nominee.  “These Socialist Democrats want government-run health care that’ll get millions of people off their insurance plans and leave us with higher costs, worse care, and no choice.

“Again, that’s the issue — it’s about choice. They want to abolish private and employer-sponsored health insurance and double people’s income taxes. We’ve all seen it during these incredible debates. The policies they are advocating do not represent mainstream America. When you have every candidate on the debate stage raising their hand to give free health care to illegal immigrants, that’s a major problem for them.

“But that’s what my grandfather’s Democrat party has become.  And it’s not going to sell. They want to remake America. In the process, they want to eliminate choices.  As I’ve said, Democrats want to dictate every aspect of our lives. With the Green New Deal, they want government to take over the economy.  They want to tell you what car you can drive, what house you can live in, and what job you can have. They want to tell you that you can’t eat hamburgers.  It goes on and on.”

Emmer then turned his attention to the other parts of his job as NRCC Chairman – fundraising and recruitment.

“We raised $22 million last year on our digital program, and it’s only going to grow,” he stated. “You saw what WinRed has just done in its short time — it’s done over $100 million. By the way, I hope you got some Trump Christmas wrapping paper.  I think we became the largest Christmas wrapping paper distributor in the Northeast because of that promotion, which generated a seven-figure number.  It was incredible.”

These positive developments aside, Emmer did raise what he called a “red flag” when it comes to raising money this year – one that has less to do with the Committee he leads than the Members the Committee is trying to re-elect.

“Our Members need to get their act together and raise more money,” he stated bluntly.  “The individual campaigns need to raise more money. They cannot expect somebody else is going to do it for them, and they’re going to hear that from me when we come back after the break and we see all the final numbers. That’s the one issue that I think we’re going to have over the next quarter, is getting these guys moving.

“Look, Republicans were in the minority for 40 years around this place.  I wasn’t here, but I’m going to guess it was because one, they didn’t want to fight, and two, they didn’t want to work.  Maybe I’m smearing a bunch of great reputations from way back, but the only way you’re going to do this is if you’re willing to put in the effort and you’re willing to work your tail off to win it back.”

That red flag on individual Member fundraising aside, Emmer did point to a positive development with regard to candidate recruitment, and the almost 1,000 Republicans who are running for the House this year.

“We’ve got almost 190 women running as Republicans across this country,” Emmer beamed.  “The previous high was 133.  And these are great women.  Michelle Fishbach is in town today from Minnesota’s 7th district.  Beth Van Duyne is the former Mayor of Irving who’s running for Kenny Marchant’s seat. I can point to a whole bunch of these women — strong, powerful women who are able to take a message out and make it stick.  They’re raising money, and again, we’re going to have to do more.  But some of these candidates are doing a heck of a job. We also have a record number of minority candidates.”

According to Emmer, it is not just the quality of candidates that is making him optimistic about GOP prospects this year.  It is also, he said, the math.

“We need 20 seats now that Jeff Van Drew has become a Republican,” the campaign head observed.  “I think he always was pretty much a Republican. Trump won that district by four and a half points. And the reason he flipped ultimately is because his entire support group turned on him. Nobody would help him.  They basically shunned him. So he had one place to go. We brought him in with open arms and he’s going to be a great addition to the Republican conference.  But we need 20 seats.

“Now remember, we’ve got 55 targeted races. The top 30, Trump won two years ago. The top 13, he won by six points or more … Our goal is to win 13 of 13 of these ruby red seats. Those are Republican seats. We’re going to win Oklahoma 5.  We’re going to win New York 22.  We’re going to win on Staten Island.  Now, if you want to be conservative, you can say, ‘Ok, Emmer, you’re going to have a couple that you lose. So we’ll give you 10.’  Now we get 9, 10, or 11 out of the remaining 18 seats in the top 30.  It is entirely doable with the candidates that we’ve got.

“And then you’ve got the next 20 that have seats which Republicans have held in the recent past. Kevin Yoder’s seat, for example, that Hillary did win. These are seats that we can win, and we have candidates who are capable of doing it.  At that point, do the math. You only need four or five or six of those. This is incredibly doable.”

It would also, he concluded, be consistent with the political climate of recent years.

“In the last 12 years,” Emmer said, “the House has flipped three times. If you study history and look back prior to 1952, you will see that the House used to regularly flip.  I believe we have reached a period in this country where we are so divided and it is so intense that we’re going to have that start to repeat itself until somebody figures out how to govern and do it right. I believe we are going to get that chance after next November. And then we’re going to have to perform.”

To view Emmer’s remarks before The Ripon Society’s breakfast discussion yesterday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin.  One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success.  These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.