U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, isn’t having any of the same down-ballot jitters many of his House Republican colleagues are experiencing with Donald Trump heading the GOP presidential ticket.
Reed, who was an early supporter in the Republican presidential primaries of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, endorsed Trump after Bush withdrew from the race after a poor showing in South Carolina.
In a telephone press conference with reporters Monday, the congressman said that while driving around his district during the House’s seven-week summer recess, the response has been positive.
He did not indicate whether his campaign has been able to detect in its polling any fall-off of likely Republican voters who might sit out the 2016 presidential race rather than vote for either Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“We’ll let the voters decide which is the better direction,” Reed said.
Reed said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had approved a $241,000 media buy for his opponent, Democrat John Plumb of Jamestown.
The Republican congressman didn’t think much of Pelosi’s push to expand the number of House Republicans to target for defeat.
“We’ll let our record speak for itself,” he said.
Pelosi’s belief that Democrats will cut more deeply into Republican’s 30-seat majority in the House — and have a chance of retaking control of the House — is fueled by polling that indicates Trump’s presidential candidacy is taking its toll on House Republicans.
Reed said Trump’s message that is a “a disrupter is resonating with the district,” an 11-county region that stretches from Lake Erie to the Finger Lakes.
“I’m not concerned about the Donald Trump effect or the Hillary Clinton,” Reed told reporters. “We’re listening to the district.”
Answering a question referring to the 10,000 Syrian refugees who have been admitted to this country this year, and the possibility of another 75,000 by the end of the year, Reed said there needs to be vetting to certify they are not a threat to American security.
“The refugees need to be verified as not to be a threat to our fellow Americans’ safety,” Reed said. “We want to make sure the powers that be can verify and certify” that each refugees is not a radical Islamic terrorist.
“The numbers (of refugees) are secondary to making sure national security is taken care of,” Reed said. “Any refugee coming to America (must be) vetted, fully vetted and the danger from radical Islamic terrorism is mitigated.”
Reed also praised the $2.5 billion deal between Alstom Corp. in Hornell and Amtrak to build the next generation of rail passenger cars.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the Amtrak work will generate 400 new jobs at the Hornell plant.
“(Workers will be) building the next generation of rail cars in our district,” said Reed, who worked with Schumer and other officials on the deal.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)