National Journal: Trump Tries Outreach to Moderate Democrats
March 28, 2017
The National Journal writes,
Rep. Henry Cuellar said White House staff reached out Monday to him and some individual members of the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition, two groups filled with moderate and conservative Democrats, many of whom represent swing districts and have reputa-tions for working across the aisle.
“His congressional-affairs folks have reached out to us and they’ve invited some of us to the White House to meet with his legislative director [Marc Short],” Cuellar said. “If it was Trump, we should give him the courtesy. But when, with all due respect, it’s a staffer, I think he needs to come to us. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to reach out to him and say, ‘Hey, if you want to come and talk to us come over to the Congress.’”
Cuellar, a Blue Dog co-chair, said he hopes to set up a meeting for sometime next week. However, he added that he and his fellow members view the invitation with suspicion. Firstly, he said they aren’t sure if the offer is sincere.
“I don’t know if he’s using us as a pawn,” he said. “When they said, ‘Maybe we’d be willing to work with Democrats,’ was that a way to say, ‘Hey, tea-party folks, straighten up or we’re going to work with them’? Or was he really sincere that he wanted to work with us? We don’t know.”