MISSOULA – President Trump’s upcoming campaign stop for Republican US Senate candidate Matt Rosendale has Missoula GOP members excited for the opportunity to host the highest-ranking member of their party.
It also gives them an opportunity to talk about their political stances on an elevated platform, which that can be quite difficult in left-leaning Missoula.
Missoula might be considered a Democratic stronghold, but Republican Mike Hopkins (HD 92) says the idea of Missoula’s Republicans not being important to the upcoming elections is misguided.
“Truth is that in every single county, even though there might be a majority of one party or another, there is actually a really significant part of the other party,” Hopkins. “So here in Missoula, 40% of the county is Republican, right? So when it comes to election, especially when it comes to, say, the United States Senate election, that 40% is a big deal. The fact that they are looking at the electoral math to get yourself across the finish line in Montana, for a Republican, Missoula is pretty darn important.”
Not only are Missoula Republicans important but so are the state house and senate races they will be voting in.
Montana GOP members say that visits to Big Sky country from President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. validate that opinion.
“We are looking at six or seven stops by the president, the president’s son, by the vice president, so I think it tells you how important Montana is this time around for this election,” Hopkins said. “I think it tells you, regardless of what party you’re from and how important it is for you to get out and vote.”
So what topics should Trump be emphasizing on his Missoula visit?
“Well I don’t know about one point I guess I’ll try to split it into two and be a politician for a second,” Hopkins said. “The first point to make is that it’s working. 3.9% unemployment is a pretty darn good thing. The tax cuts allowing more people to be hired is a pretty good thing. Returning more money into people’s pockets so they have more decisions they can make in their own personal budgets is a pretty big thing,” Hopkins said. “The second part, the case that I think he should be making is that look Jon Tester had his chance. Jon Tester looked into a camera to all of us in Montana and he said look I’m not going to take lobbyist money. Now he is the number one recipient of lobbyist cash. He said I’m only going to run for two terms. Now he here is running for a third term. He said I’m going to fight against the big banks, he’s the second major getter of bank money in the country. There has to be some sort of penalty to looking us into the eye and lying to us.”
Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News