After midterm blowout, House Republicans may be reconsidering the whole Donald Trump thing

The National Republican Congressional Committee will be run by Parker Poling.

Donald Trump in July 2018.
Donald Trump in July 2018. CREDIT: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

After apparently losing 40 or 41 seats in the 2018 midterm elections, the House Republicans’ campaign arm has selected Parker Poling to be its executive director for the 2020 campaign cycle. In addition to her work as chief of staff to Republican Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, the woman who will lead the National Republican Congressional Committee has a history as a “NeverTrumper.”

A ThinkProgress review of Poling’s Twitter feed reveals that in addition to being a fan of the New York Yankees, a Gilmore Girls binge-watcher, an avid player of HQ Trivia, Poling spent much of 2016 sharing her support for presidential hopeful former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) and staunchly opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy. The tweets — still online as of Thursday morning — indicated a deep antipathy to the man who is now effectively in charge of her party and anxiety over what he could do to the GOP.

In February 2016, she retweeted Michael Reagan, son of the late Republican president, warning that “Trump will destroy the Republican brand.”

Days later she joined the ranks of Republicans vowing never to back Trump, period.

She reaffirmed this view in March 2016, sharing a David Brooks opinion piece from the New York Times.

In April, when Trump won the New York state GOP primary, she noted that Trump had done well in the county of her summer camp. When a fellow Jeb Bush supporter and Trump critic observed that this showed “things went to h*ll in a hand basket” since that time, she responded, “exactly!”

She also endorsed a Wall Street Journal story about Trump’s tax circumvention strategies.

Though her explicit anti-Trump criticisms ceased after her boss indicated his support for the nominee-apparent in May, none of her subsequent tweets suggest that she changed her mind about Trump before Election Day.


The NRCC did not immediately respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry about whether the selection of a NeverTrumper was indicative of a strategic shift after Congressional Republicans spent the first two years of the Trump administration in lock-step with the president on almost all issues.