President Trump to visit Maine
With protesters in the streets, and a virus on the loose, President Trump prepares for a trip to Maine Friday.
The President plans to visit Puritan Medical in Guilford, Maine, where workers produce hundreds of thousands of coronavirus testing swabs a day.
Earlier this year, the president legally-demanded that the company scale up. Friday, he’ll get a closer look at its progress than our cameras have ever been allowed.
"He loves to go on-site and see how everything’s done, talk with workers personally," said White House Trade adviser Peter Navarro.
Navarro said Puritan is set to quadruple production by the fall thanks in part to new machines produced by the ship builders at Bath Ironworks. He said that means more jobs and better protection from the virus.
While he’s in town, the president will also sign an Executive Order reopening some areas off Maine’s coast to commercial fishing. "That’s going to be real important to the Maine economy," said Navarro.
But the trip isn’t without controversy, during a Monday call between the president and governors, Trump pinned blame for protest violence on 'the radical left'.
Maine’s Democratic Governor Janet Mills asked if the White House administration knew of any planned disturbances tied to the president’s trip, and how to prosecute anyone wrapped up in such a scheme. She told the Maine press corps that her questions went unanswered.
The White House said this trip is solely about the economy and the nation’s health. But, Georgetown University Political Science Professor Mark Rom said it’s impossible to completely separate politics from the equation -- especially in an election year.
"We should anticipate that every action he takes from here on out is concerned first about his electoral prospects, and only incidentally about whether it works for the country’s long-term interests," he said.
Rom said Maine has the potential to swing the presidential race, and Trump, can expect a bump from his visit.
But, Rom doesn’t see it helping moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ re-election bid. "It will reinforce those Democrats who are determined to vote against her, while not necessarily re-assuring the Republicans who are leery of her," said Rom.
Holding onto Collins’ seat will be critical for Republicans if they hope to keep control in the U.S. Senate. How Maine votes in that race, and at top of the ticket could shape D.C. politics for years to come.