President Donald Trump called out Republican losers from Tuesday’s midterms by name at a press conference on Wednesday, blaming the candidates’ efforts to distance themselves from his administration for their defeats.
“You had some that decided to ‘let’s stay away, let’s stay away,'” he said. “They did very poorly. I’m not sure that I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it.”
The president called out Republicans Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Mike Coffman of Colorado, Mia Love of Utah, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Peter Roskam of Illinois, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, Bob Hugin of New Jersey and John Faso of New York for not embracing him more warmly on the campaign trail. Trump did endorse a number of those candidates, including Paulsen, Hugin and Faso.
“Barbara Comstock was another one,” Trump said, listing off Republicans who distanced themselves from the president. “I think that she could’ve won that race, but she did not want to have any embrace. For that, I do not blame her. But she lost, substantially lost.”
“Mia love. I saw Mia love, and she would called me all the time to help her with a hostage situation, being held hostage in Venezuela,” the president also said, referring to the release of Utahn Josh Holt, who had been held by the Venezuelan government. “But Mia Love gave me no love. And she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
The president went on to say that despite some Republicans shying away from him on the campaign trail, the GOP had “tremendous support” in the midterm.
“Those are some of the people that decided for their own reason not to embrace, whether it’s me or what we stand for, but what we stand for meant a lot to most people,” he said. “And we have had tremendous support and tremendous support in the Republican party, among the biggest support of the history of the party.”
Democrats won back the House after Tuesday’s midterm in large part on the strength of victories in suburban districts. But while Democrats were able to seize the majority in the House, Republicans strengthened their majority in the Senate, picking up at least two seats with races in Montana and Florida still too close to call.
Trump campaigned for a number of Republicans, packing 11 rallies in eight states over the campaign season’s final six days.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine