Bergman wins ‘Trumpiest’ Michigan lawmaker in Axios rating

    U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference | Andrew Roth

    U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) was elected in 2016 when now-President Donald Trump won Michigan. And now Bergman has the highest loyalty rating for Trump of Michigan’s GOP congressional members in an index developed by national political outlet Axios.

    The “Trump Loyalty Index” for Republicans in Congress measures both voting loyalty, based on FiveThirtyEight data, and whether members said anything critical on the record during seven of Trump’s biggest crises: his “Access Hollywood” recording, the initial travel ban on Muslim-majority nations, his comments on the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, his “shithole countries” remark, the “go back” tweet about the four progressive women known as “The Squad”, his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and his Bible photo op.

    Bergman earned an 82 on the index and boasts a 97% voting record with Trump. Bergman was not in office during the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women, so he was not rated on it.

    He’s followed by U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Midland), whose rating is 75 and voting record with Trump is 97%. U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Tipton) is at 71 and 98%, respectively, followed by U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) at 63 and 97% and retiring U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Dryden) at 60 and 96%. Mitchell also wasn’t in office during the “Access Hollywood” story.

    Amash says he’s ‘declaring his independence’ and leaving GOP

    The only Michigan Republican to fall below 50 in the index was U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), who’s facing state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) in a targeted race. Upton scored 41 on the index and has an 81% Trump voting record.

    The report said that Republicans who haven’t shown their loyalty to Trump since 2016 are more likely to be in competitive reelections.

    Axios said that Republicans have become less likely to criticize Trump since 2016, when 42% of the 178 Republicans who have been in office since Trump’s candidacy criticized him during the “Access Hollywood” tape story.

    But the news outlet said that in 2017, 19% of GOP members criticized Trump for his Charlottesville remarks. In 2018, 18% criticized him for his “shithole countries” remark. In 2019, 15% criticized him for his tweet for U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) to “go back” to where they came from. In 2020, 12% criticized him for the Bible photo op/clearing of peaceful protesters.

    Axios reports there were 49 Republicans in Congress who didn’t support Trump or withdrew their support after “Access Hollywood.” Now, 24 of them are no longer in Congress and one, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (L-Cascade Twp.), left the party.

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    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.