IN THE NEWS: Enthusiasm for Joe’s commonsense message not dampened by super PAC spending, J&C interview shows
Joe Donnelly isn’t concerned about anything other than representing Hoosiers, and he knows continuing to build his connection to the state is what will pay off in November.
That’s Joe’s message in a new interview with Dave Bangert of the Lafayette Journal & Courier yesterday. And while Hoosiers watch a nasty primary unfold on the other side, they’re not falling for the Koch Brothers’ tax ads, whom Joe describes as the Kennedy family in reverse: “Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you.”
From the Journal & Courier: Rokita? Messer? Braun? No, Joe Donnelly says biggest opponent will be Koch Bros.
This week, a day after he helped celebrate his alma mater Notre Dame’s championship in the women’s NCAA Tournament, Donnelly stopped by a downtown Lafayette coffeehouse to talk about the campaign, his relationship with Trump and why he sees his biggest opponents in November could wind up being a set of billionaire brothers who live three states away from Indiana in Kansas.
Donnelly: I think we're doing fine. My job is to just work nonstop… The people of our state are a lot more focused on hard work and common sense and doing the right thing, as opposed to this tribal situation of Republican here, Democrat here and never the twain shall meet.
If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, because I mean it: I did not go there as a Democrat senator or as a Republican senator. I went there as a senator for every town, and every county in our state. And that's why my voting record with Trump is 62 percent. I voted with him 62 percent of the time. And I'm being criticized because I didn't vote with him 100 percent of the time.
I said, "If you want that, buy a fax machine." … When the president is right, I'll be with him. And when he's not, I'll pass, and I'll try to tell him why, and here's a better plan, and a better way to go. That's my job. I don't work for him. I didn't work for President Obama. I didn't work for President Bush. I work for the people of Indiana.
Q: The ads (rolled out by Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by Charles and David Koch) so far have questioned your vote on the recent tax bill. So, you think they’re going to be your biggest problem this fall?
Donnelly: Trying to set the table, I guess is what they’re doing. So, I expect them to continue. … Look, they're in it for this reason. When they passed that tax bill, those brothers got a billion dollars back. Not just this year, but every year in perpetuity. So, their investment in my campaign, and in others' campaigns, this is a business expense to these guys. … I said to somebody, "These are the anti-Kennedy brothers." John Kennedy said, "Don't ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." These guys, they turned the can upside down on that. And so, money that should be going to make our school districts stronger, our roads better, making our health care system better is going in these guys' pockets.