Earlier this morning, President Donald Trump wrote a tweet singling out Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), who faces a troubling path to reelection.
“There is a nasty rumor out there that @SenatorCollins of Maine will not be supporting our great United States Supreme Court Nominee,” Trump wrote, referencing Amy Coney Barrett, who just wrapped four days of highly contentious hearings. “Well, she didn’t support Healthcare or my opening up 5000 square miles of Ocean to Maine, so why should this be any different. Not worth the work!”
There is a nasty rumor out there that @SenatorCollins of Maine will not be supporting our great United States Supreme Court Nominee. Well, she didn’t support Healthcare or my opening up 5000 square miles of Ocean to Maine, so why should this be any different. Not worth the work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2020
Collins had earlier indicated that she did not support confirming a Supreme Court nominee ahead of the general election, saying she would prefer for the winner of the election to nominate someone to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the nation’s highest court.
Collins’s reelection prospects have been troubled since she voted to confirm Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018 despite learning of his history of alleged sexual assault, particularly after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a former classmate of Kavanaugh’s, testified that he had sexually assaulted her at a party in the early 1980s. Voters condemned her, and soon afterward, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) launched a campaign to replace her in the Senate.
Gideon has raised more than $39 million in the last three months, giving her a significant financial advantage over Collins. A Pan Atlantic Research poll released Thursday shows her leading Collins by seven points, though other polls show them engaged in a neck-and-neck race.
Gideon and Collins debated yesterday, arguing about the judiciary. healthcare, and the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We do have a judiciary that has been politicized. President Trump had a concerted and successful effort to move the judiciary to the right,” Gideon said. “He has done that with the help of Mitch McConnell and with the help of Susan Collins. Those 181 judicial nominees that she chose to confirm, some of them were rated unqualified by the American Bar Association and some of them came with distinct social and political agendas.”
Gideon also said Collins would endanger the Affordable Care Act if she remains in office.
“Right now we need leadership at the federal level and we need to know that no matter what happens to the Affordable Care Act, we have a Congress that is actually going to protect and expand people’s health care,” Gideon said. “Mitch McConnell and Susan Collins have said there is no plan in place even as that lawsuit moves to oral arguments the week after Election Day.”
Collins responded that the Affordable Care Act would be a “first step toward a government takeover of our healthcare.”