The Buzz

TheChat: Vicky Hartzler stands solidly behind Donald Trump


Good morning.

▪ ▪ “We need President Trump.” — Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Harrisonville.

On Saturday, Hartzler labeled Donald Trump’s words on that now-famous video “disgusting and repulsive.” But she’s standing by her nominee and is refusing to withdraw her endorsement. Note this: Across the state, another Republican congresswoman from Missouri, Ann Wagner, has dropped her endorsement of Trump. Hartzler and Wagner may be on a collision course in the 2018 primary for the U.S. Senate. The question: Which move will curry the most favor with base GOP voters in a primary two years from now? Bottom line: The politics of 2018 are underway. (links via

▪ “The big difference between me and Senator Blunt here is that if my party were to nominate somebody for president who wasn't qualified to do the job, I would actually vote for the other party's nominee for president. Senator Blunt won't do that because he puts his party above his country.” — Democrat Jason Kander, the Missouri U.S. Senate candidate, speaking about his opponent, Republican Roy Blunt.

A spokeswoman for Blunt counters that Blunt "stands with Missourians against another Obama term, which is exactly what the Clinton-Kander agenda offers.”

▪ “It's what happens when no one checks your tweets and you're going too fast. And he's a really nice guy!” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on Twitter speaking about Missouri Congressman Jason Smith. She had mistakingly ID’d him as “Justin” Smith in an earlier tweet.

Smith walked up to McCaskill in the spin room following the second presidential debate in St. Louis Sunday night and jokingly introduced himself as “Justin Smith.” The two reportedly had a good laugh and shared a hug.

▪ “I think there’s a Trump party and there’s a Republican party. I have a lot of problems squaring the two.” — Stuart Stevens, the chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign and an outspoken opponent of Trump.

If Trump loses, Republicans are starting to brace themselves for an intense civil war that almost certainly will shake the very foundations of the Grand Old Party.