PHILADELPHIA – Dave McCormick is cited when he criticizes populism, praises skilled immigration, and even warns of potential flaws in the America First mindset. A former CEO of a hedge fund, he led over $ 1 billion in investments in China.
None of this is visible on his Senate campaign website, which says people are asking him to run to represent America First, a nod to former President Donald Trump’s battle cry.
As McCormick prepares to quickly enter the Republican Senate battle from Pennsylvania – a race in which candidates outnumber one another to prove their loyalty to Trump – he is already taking steps to defend himself against the near-definite primary attacks that it is not enough for him. MAGA.
McCormick has launched an impending campaign with whoever Trump’s world operatives are and has distanced himself from his former company’s ties to China, while his allies have turned to Trump-friendly media… The question is whether that will be compelling enough in a state where Trump still has a strong hold on the GOP.
“He’s a little more global than I’d like to be,” said Gloria Lee Snover, Northampton County GOP chairwoman. “But many of Trump’s former employees get along with him and see him as a great candidate. I love the story of his life – two parents were teachers, he grew up on a Christmas tree farm and worked hard – so I love it. But I’m still checking. “
McCormick, one of Jeb Bush’s early supporters, was not always respectful of Trump.
“I was not particularly associated with the Trump camp – I was not a supporter of Trump,” he said at a 2017 event at Duke University., adding that he nonetheless wanted the winning candidate – Trump or Hillary Clinton – to succeed.
This is not the only remark that could turn against him in the primary: after the attack on the Capitol last January, McCormick said this at the Bloomberg summit. what Trump carried "great responsibility" for "polarization" and "split" the previous four years. In the same interview, he praised President Joe Biden, saying he “really appreciates Biden’s tone” regarding the country’s unification, and called the news of some of Biden’s early appointments “encouraging.”
McCormick’s past remarks could jeopardize his chances of gaining all-important Trump support.
Last month, Trump watched a January 2021 video in which McCormick condemned Trump’s rhetoric, according to a person close to the former president. Trump also reviewed the document outlining McCormick’s other comments at the time, although it is unclear who prepared the list and what was included.
The source said Trump did not have a harsh reaction when he learned of McCormick’s past statements. But unlike other Republicans who criticized Trump during the 2016 election, some of McCormick’s criticisms are more relevant, which could work against him.
“A sliding scale – the newer your insults are, the more they weigh,” for the former president, said a source close to Trump. “In that sense, it’s not good to be David McCormick today.”
McCormick’s allies point to one invaluable means of repelling RINO attacks: his personal ties to Trumpworld. McCormick’s wife, Dina Powell McCormick, was Trump’s deputy national security adviser. Even before he officially started his campaign, McCormick TV commercial goes on the air, which briefly tells about Powell McCormick.
“As a private sector person, you can talk and have various comments that may not be that thoughtful … but I don’t think there is any chance that someone like Dave McCormick, and I know him for some- At that time, it will consider voting for Hillary Clinton’s policy versus Donald Trump’s policy, ”said Rep. Dan Meuser (Pennsylvania Republican), a McCormick supporter. “And you know very well that his wife, Dina Powell McCormick, was in the Trump administration and was a very strong supporter and ally of the president’s agenda.”
Asked about McCormick’s past comments, Jesse Shimansky, a spokesman for his research committee, said he would work to re-establish Trump’s agenda “that made America great” if he runs for the Senate. She also said that McCormick voted for Trump in the 2016 primary and the 2016 and 2020 general elections.
"Dave McCormick is a veteran war veteran who has put America first throughout his career and will continue to uphold those values if he runs for the US Senate, ”she said. “He has been tough on China during his tenure in both the public and private sectors and supports President Trump’s tough immigration and foreign policy towards China.”
McCormick, a Gulf War veteran and former Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration, until recently ran the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. He was recruited into the race by Republicans in Pennsylvania and Washington DC, who were concerned about the state of the main field in one of the most important Senate races in the country this year.
Sean Parnell, an army veteran, suspended his main campaign in November after losing custody of his children over domestic violence charges.
Supporters see McCormick as a candidate who could pierce the electoral needle in Pennsylvania, a wavering state that narrowly voted for Trump in 2016 and rejected him by a small margin four years later.
According to ad tracking company AdImpact, McCormick formed a research committee in December and has already spent nearly $ 2.3 million on TV ads. Famed physician and broadcaster Mehmet Oz, property developer Jeff Bartos, former ambassador Carla Sands and political columnist Katie Barnett are also running for the seat vacated by GOP Senator Pat Toomey.
Trump White House alumni Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller serve as advisors to the McCormick research committee. Former Trump campaign adviser David Urban and former Trump White House lawyer Jim Schultz are also helping his campaign get started. Other unofficial, Trump bloodlines Advisors include Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Tony Sayeh and Larry Kudlow, according to a person close to McCormick.
In addition to former Trump employees on his payroll, McCormick may note that he was interviewed for two key positions in the Trump administration: Treasury Secretary and Deputy Defense Secretary. (He was offered a job at the Department of Defense, but declined.) McCormick also took steps to prevent attacks on him about China. I speak on a call to the company Last year, he disagreed with Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio defending the country. It was already known then that he was thinking of escaping.
But that doesn’t stop Oz’s allies from pursuing McCormick for his past.
“It’s almost overwhelming,” said Rep. Guy Reshenthaler, a Pennsylvania Republican and Oz supporter, citing McCormick’s past comments about Trump, as well as a business philosophy that the congressman said was in conflict with Trump’s America First “. He noted that McCormick will have to surpass Oz’s stellar power, adding that “in many American families, this is Santa Claus, Coca-Cola and Dr. Oz.”
Oz himself has potential primary vulnerabilities, as he defended abortion rights and gun laws ‘red flags’ before running for the Senate and changing course.
At a 2017 Duke University event, McCormick said America First policies could “potentially” undermine the country’s ability to build multi-stakeholder coalitions. In March McCormick co-author of the article for the American Enterprise Institute, urging policymakers to do more to attract skilled immigrant workers. In a 2019 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, McCormick said: populism led to “political extremes” this made it difficult for the country and the economy to move forward.
In the same interview, McCormick declined to say whether he supported Trump’s tariffs, noting that it was important to properly “manage” US relations with China.
“You just can’t get off the ground with anti-Trump comments,” Reshenthaler said. “I can’t even remember anyone who has been successful. This is a political failure in the Republican primaries. “
Trump has met with both Oz and McCormick, he has friends working with both campaigns, and “as long as he is determined not to get involved,” a Trump source said. The former president’s approach to staying out of the controversial primaries may change over time, although the departure of Parnell – the original candidate Trump backed in Pennsylvania – is still relevant.
Oz and Trump have been personal friends for years, and while Oz hasn’t hired Trump’s extensive alumni team, he has his own supporters coaxing him with the former president. In addition to Oz’s longtime friend and Fox News host Sean Hannity, who often invites Oz to his show, casino tycoon Steve Wynn and former Trump Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross are also promoting Oz’s campaign to Trump, according to a source familiar with the Oz campaign.
Snover, the county party chairman, said she is choosing between supporting McCormick and Sands. On a recent call, she said she asked McCormick about his past position on trade and other issues.
Snover said that if Trump backs the candidate in the race, it will help her narrow the choice: “It will be a factor, but not the only deciding factor.”