GOP preps attacks on vulnerable Dem senators over Mayorkas impeachment trial dismissal


Republicans are planning to pin Senate Democrats’ move to kill the articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on vulnerable incumbents ahead of the November elections. 

After several Democratic senators who face tough re-election battles voted in line with their party on Wednesday in order to deem the House-passed impeachment articles unconstitutional and forego a trial, Republican candidates are already using it to their advantage. 

“Joe Biden’s wide open border is going to be a top issue for voters headed into November,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesperson Maggie Abboud told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

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Jon Tester, Alejandro Mayorkas, and Tammy Baldwin

Republicans said they plan to attack Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., over their Mayorkas impeachment trial vote. (Getty Images)

“You can bet we are going to highlight Senate Democrats’ refusal to hold Joe Biden’s DHS Secretary accountable on the campaign trail, in advertising, and in every other way possible,” she added. 

A spokesperson for One Nation, a group aligned with Senate Republican leadership and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also shared that it would be continuing to hit Democrats hard on immigration in the wake of Senate Democrats’ votes to block the impeachment trial of Mayorkas from moving forward. 

Republican candidates taking on Democrats in competitive races, such as those in Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, were quick to slam their opponents for voting in line with their party and allowing Mayorkas to escape scrutiny. 

“Everyone should be outraged that Jon Tester does more for illegal immigrants in Washington than he does for legal taxpaying American citizens,” former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, a Republican Senate candidate in Montana, said in a statement. 

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Sen. Jon Tester

Tester is in one of the most competitive races in the country. (Getty Images)

After voting with his party, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., suggested the impeachment was a partisan game, while also urging both Mayorkas and Biden to use their executive branch authorities to help secure the border and pushing his colleagues in Congress to pass a bipartisan border package. 

His campaign further told Fox News Digital in a statement that while Tester works towards a bipartisan solution on the border, “Tim Sheehy opposes the bipartisan border security bill endorsed by border patrol agents, and repeatedly called to defund the Department of Homeland Security.”

Campaigns for Bernie Moreno, the Republican Senate nominee in Ohio, and David McCormick, Sam Brown and Eric Hovde, expected to be the Republican nominees for Senate in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin, respectively, each made similar criticisms of vulnerable incumbent Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.; and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

“Together, Casey, Biden and Mayorkas have enabled drug cartels to flood Pennsylvania communities with deadly drugs like fentanyl,” claimed Elizabeth Gregory, a spokesperson for McCormick. 

As Republicans add the Mayorkas impeachment dismissal to their attacks on Democratic opponents, the incumbent senators are already pushing back. 

In a statement, Baldwin spokesperson Andrew Mamo said, “Tammy is focused on solutions, not political games,” reiterating her support for a “bipartisan border compromise.”

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Sens. Bob Casey, Sherrod Brown, Jacky Rosen, Tammy Baldwin, Jon Tester

Several vulnerable Democrats, including, from left, Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; and Jon Tester, D-Mont., were expected to decide how the impeachment trial proceeded. (Getty Images)

“Senator Rosen is supporting solutions to increase border security and fix our broken immigration system because she is a bipartisan and independent voice for her state,” Rosen’s campaign said in a statement, criticizing “the extreme MAGA Republicans running against her” as “rubber stamps for Trump.”

A Brown campaign spokesperson similarly pointed to the senator’s support for the bipartisan package, noting that Moreno vocally opposed it. 

Casey’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Tommy Garcia further claimed, “Republican Senate candidates lost their message on the border the minute they opposed the border security bill that members of their own party helped write,” referencing a border package that was negotiated by Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla.; Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., which quickly lost support following former President Donald Trump’s public criticism. 

Garcia remarked that “the ads write themselves,” following the Republicans’ abandonment of the border package. 

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Both Republicans and Democrats appear to be prepping to wield the border issues against one another, but Republican strategist Doug Heye noted that Democrats “are massively on defense on the border.”

With this in mind, Heye also said, “Impeachment of the DHS Secretary was largely a niche issue for the Republican base already well-committed in those races.”

Uncommitted and swing voters are not likely to have paid attention to it, he said. 

Migrants storm the gate at the border in El Paso

Consensus that the border is a crisis is growing among lawmakers. (James Breeden for New York Post / Mega)

Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, agreed with Heye’s assessment, adding, “I don’t think the specifics of the Mayorkas impeachment matter much if at all — it just seems like too much of an Inside Washington story to matter.

However, he pointed out “[President] Biden has terrible numbers on immigration.” 

“Republicans will of course hammer on the issue, so it is something Democrats need to be prepared to counter,” he continued. 

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Republican strategist David Kochel called the Mayorkas impeachment a “lose/lose” situation for Democrats. While vulnerable incumbents are expressing their support for the bipartisan border package, he noted it wasn’t accomplished, and thus it is more difficult for them to use in their favor. 

“The idea was to kill this thing quickly and hope voters forget about it,” he said of the Mayorkas impeachment proceedings. Going through with a full trial likely would have looked worse for Democrats, he added. 

Fox News Digital reached out to DHS for comment.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.





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