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Trump 'A Factor' In GOP Congressman's Decision To Retire

A Republican who does not plan to run for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives next year has admitted that President Trump is one of his reasons for retiring.

Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, whom Fox News described as a “moderate” who did not vote for Trump, disclosed in an ABC News interview that the president was “a factor.” However, he stressed that Trump was not “the factor.” Dent, who has represented his congressional district for seven two-year terms, lamented the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats.

He said Congress has difficulty getting anything done because members of each party are so committed to satisfying their “base” of supporters. “Polarization has become paralysis,” Dent claimed. He warned that GOP candidates in the 2018 midterm elections are “running into a headwind” that will likely result in Democrats making gains in the House and Senate.

The lawmaker cited the recent approval of tax-reform legislation as one of the few congressional accomplishments this year. He expressed his gratitude to Trump and GOP leaders on Capitol Hill for passing the bill without a single Democratic vote. He predicted that the measure will help average people, though bipartisan tax analysts believe it will mostly benefit large corporations and wealthy individuals.

Dent said Trump’s White House “at times has taken the fun out of dysfunction,” adding: “Sometimes, you can laugh at it. But, it’s not so funny anymore. Before Donald Trump became president, the litmus test for Republicans was really about ideological purity and conformity.”

The congressman argued that the party is instead demonstrating “loyalty to the man.” He remarked that the hostility in the nation’s capital has gotten so severe that “if I set myself on fire … they would complain that the temperature of the flame isn’t hot enough.”

Dent acknowledged that Trump’s support is still solid in some parts of the country, especially rural areas. However, he predicted that Republican candidates in “swing” districts are not likely to want the president appearing with them at campaign rallies next year. Dent explained that his district, in eastern Pennsylvania, is one of those that is divided between Trump supporters and critics.

Dent called on his fellow Republicans, who are often split between mainstream lawmakers and right-wingers, to resolve their differences and band together to reach common goals. He urged them to reject controversial candidates like Alabama’s Roy Moore, who narrowly lost a special election earlier this month to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. Trump and many other GOP leaders supported the Moore campaign.

Fox News pointed out that Dent is one of many Republican members of Congress are not seeking another term in office. Others include Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Among those in the House who plan to retire are Jason Chaffetz of Utah; Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee; Trent Franks of Arizona; Bob Goodlatte of Virginia; Dave Reichert of Washington; Lynn Jenkins of Kansas; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida; Steve Pearce of New Mexico; Paul Labrador of Idaho; Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey; Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania; Kristi Noem of South Dakota; and Joe Barton, Blake Farenthold, Sam Johnson, Ted Poe and Jeb Hensarling of Texas.

Source: Fox News Insider
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, ABC

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