President Trump probably views the Maryland congressional delegation as a vast wasteland of criticism and opposition.
But if he was only going to have one ally in the state, he couldn’t do much better than Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R), a comprehensive analysis of GOP members of Congress found.
The analysis was conducted by Axios, which looked at how Republican members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have responded to various Trump controversies.
Harris earned a “Trump Loyalty Score” of 88 and he voted 93% of the time with the president. Not quite a perfect 100, but good enough for a fifth-place tie in the entire Congress.
The voting index relied on data from FiveThirtyEight.
The loyalty score analyzed what lawmakers said — if anything — during seven of the president’s “biggest crises”: the “Access Hollywood” recording during the 2016 campaign; the travel ban on people from Muslim-majority nations early in Trump’s presidency; his comments about the racial violence in Charlottesville, Va.; his “s—hole countries” remark; the “go back” tweet directed at women of color serving in Congress; his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which led to his impeachment in the House; and his use of government forces to stage his Bible photo-op in June.
Axios produced a checkerboard grid that links to each lawmaker’s response — or non-response — to those events.
For his part, Harris either agreed with the president’s actions or words, offered a couple words of mild criticism followed immediately by an ad hoc condemnation of various Democrats (Hillary Clinton, for example), or he refused to say anything.
A hard-charging conservative who knocked off fellow Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest in 2010, Harris’ fealty to Trump is well-chronicled.
Like the president, Harris has been a vocal supporter of reopening the economy, despite the pandemic.
Trump endorsed Harris after the congressman spoke approvingly about the much-criticized violence against protesters near the White House on June 1. Not that he needed the boost.
Harris won a fifth term in 2018, when he defeated Democrat Jesse Colvin handily. The incumbent, a physician and former state Senator, received 60% of the vote. Colvin, a military veteran, received 38%. Harris is heavily favored over another military veteran, Mia Mason, in November.
Trump carried Harris’ Eastern Shore district with 60% of the vote in 2016. Clinton received 35%.
Through a spokesman, Harris declined to comment on the Axios story.
For the record, the Republican members of Congress who were deemed even “Trumpier” than Harris: Wisconsin Rep. Glenn Grothman; Georgia Sen. David Perdue; Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz; and North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert tied Harris for fifth.
By Bruce DePuyt