Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Sunday passed on the opportunity to condemn former President Trump and his Republican colleagues who have gone after the handful of House Republicans that helped pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, despite the North Dakota Republican’s support for its passage earlier this year.
During an interview on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” Cramer, who was among 19 GOP senators who voted for BIF, was asked whether he would’ve voted for the bill if the vote had occurred this month instead of August, given the former president’s recent attacks against the 13 House Republicans who voted alongside Democrats to pass BIF earlier this month. House Republicans who voted against BIF similarly turned against their 13 colleagues who voted for BIF, despite claiming that they’re supportive of infrastructure legislation as long as it doesn’t hand Democrats a legislative victory.
After saying that he would’ve supported BIF regardless of the timing of the vote in the Senate, citing his position as a ranking member of the Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee that had a hand in writing the bill, Cramer claimed that he had a “pretty healthy” conversation with Trump about BIF following a TV appearance where the GOP senator touted the merits of the bill.
“I don’t make my decision on legislation based on whether it hurts or helps Donald Trump or whether it hurts or helps Joe Biden,” Cramer said.
Cramer then decried how rhetoric within the GOP is centered around whether legislation “gave Joe Biden a victory.”
“Whether he gets a victory or not, I happen to believe that not every transaction in Washington requires a loser,” Cramer said. “And when North Dakotans can win, if Joe Biden looks good in the process, I’m more concerned about the North Dakotans.”
Later in the interview, Cramer was pressed on whether the majority of House Republicans voting against censuring Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who posted an anime-style video depicting violence against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and President Biden, is a “bad look” for the GOP.
“I don’t know. I don’t think that was right. What Paul did probably wasn’t right. I’ve never seen the meme myself,” Cramer said, before noting that he previously wrote an op-ed criticizing Rep. Marjorie Greene (R-GA) for several of her incendiary comments “to make sure the party was distanced from that.”
Cramer, unsurprisingly, then pivoted to re-upping the GOP’s attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for appearing to equate U.S. and Israeli “atrocities” with those of Hamas and the Taliban earlier this year.
“We have polarizing parties, at least parts of our parties that are so polarizing,” Cramer said. “And I think that there’s a tendency to run to those corners rather than stand in the gap, and have a better conversation, and use our influence both ways.”
In addition to attacks from their own colleagues, the 13 House Republican who broke ranks by helping Democrats pass BIF earlier this month have also been met with death threats from the public. According to Punchbowl News, GOP leadership is also gearing up for rank-and-file lawmakers to organize an effort to strip committee assignments from members who supported BIF.
Watch Cramer’s remarks below: