By Morgan Gstalter, thehill.com
President Trump bragged about his prowess in defeating the Republicans who oppose him, saying at an Ohio rally that he “destroys” the careers of GOP politicians who dare defy him.
“How do you get 100 percent of anything? We always have somebody who says ‘I don’t like Trump, I don’t like our president, he destroyed my career,’ ” Trump said.
“I only destroy their career because they said bad things about me and you fight back and they go down the tubes and that’s OK,” he added.
Trump didn’t name names, but he’s on a winning streak in GOP primaries, as candidates he’s backed have repeatedly defeated those he sided against.
The most notable example was Rep. Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor who lost a GOP primary for reelection to his House seat earlier this summer.
Trump tweeted his opposition to Sanford on election day, needling him over a past controversy in which he disappeared from public view to, according to his staff, hike the Appalachian Trail. Sanford, married at the time, was actually in Argentina seeing a woman with whom he was having an affair.
Trump also recently backed Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in a GOP primary, and saw Kemp win.
But Trump hasn’t always been on the winning side. He backed former Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) last year but saw Roy Moore pull off a primary victory.
Still, the recent successful primary picks have put Trump’s stamp further on the GOP, suggesting it has become Trump’s party.
Two GOP senators who have repeatedly criticized Trump, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, are also not running for reelection.