The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is keeping its distance from congressional Republicans running in 2020 because of President Donald Trump's divisiveness, the Washington Examiner reports.
According to the Examiner, some of the Chamber's corporate members are encouraging the group to avoid the GOP and Trump out of fear that his polarizing status could alienate customers. Trump won the presidency in 2016 despite lacking the Chamber's support, but many congressional Republicans rely on the group as a "counter to the AFL-CIO," the union federation that typically supports Democrats for office.
"If the chamber isn't the Republican counter to the AFL-CIO, where are Republicans going to turn for that umbrella support that they need in races?" said former Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, a Republican and Trump surrogate. "Corporations are a little skittish, so therefore the chamber is getting a little skittish."
A longtime Republican strategist, who requested to remain anonymous, told the Examiner that the Chamber is "unwilling to help the people who cut their taxes when it comes to cultural battles, and all battles are cultural battles now. A whole lot of CEOs who are too scared to help their team in cultural battles will deserve every dollar of tax hikes the Democrats give them if they take over."
Scott Reid, the chief political strategist for the Chamber, told the Examiner that protecting the GOP majority in the Senate remains their top priority.
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