President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted his endorsement of Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who is running for re-election in 2020. The endorsement followed Tillis dissenting from Trump’s declaration of a state of emergency last year, which led to whispers of a primary challenge against Tillis. The senator, though, ultimately voted with Trump, and Rep. Mark Walker announced last week, per The Hill, that he is not challenging Tillis.
“Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina has really stepped up to the plate. Thom is tough on Crime, Strong on the Border and fights hard against Illegal Immigration. He loves our Military, our Vets and our great Second Amendment,” the president’s tweet said.
Longtime observers of Trump’s tweets may have noticed something about the endorsement: It’s strikingly similar to the language that the president nearly always uses when tweeting the endorsement of a candidate.
As pointed out last July by Mother Jones, the president has a tendency to repeat himself in endorsements. For instance, when he endorsed Brian Kemp for governor of Georgia last year, the president tweeted that Kemp is “tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration,” while adding that Kemp, who was elected governor in November, “loves our Military and our Vets and protects our Second Amendment.”
In other endorsements in the 2018 cycle, Trump used that language, or something very close to it, while endorsing Ron DeSantis for governor of Florida, Henry McMaster for governor of South Carolina, Rep, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana, among various other candidates.
The president was more brief in endorsing Rick Saccone, a candidate for Congress in 2018’s PA-18 special election, tweeting that Saccone was “also, tough on crime & border. Loves 2nd A & VETS.” Then again, Trump “privately trashed” Saccone during that race, which the candidate ultimately lost to Democrat Conor Lamb, per Political Wire.
The Huffington Post noticed this tendency as well, declaring in the fall of 2018 that Trump’s endorsement as “a repetitive copy-and-paste fever dream.”
— The Hill (@thehill) June 21, 2019
“[Candidate] loves our Military and Vets,” the site noted was the pattern of Trump’s endorsements. “He is Strong on Crime, the Border, and supported Tax Cuts. [Candidate] has my complete and total endorsement!”
Walker, the candidate who considered challenging Tillis, met with Trump at the White House last month, per The Hill. After Tillis had questioned the emergency declaration on conservative, separation-of-powers grounds, Trump pushed back, ultimately pushing Tillis to support the policy. Tillis later denounced the subpoena of Donald Trump, Jr., that was issued by Richard Burr, North Carolina’s other Republican senator.
Also Tuesday, per CNN, Tillis defended Trump against the charge that he had sexually assaulted a woman in the 1990s, by referencing the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh.