The Latest: Pence says Trump, GOP governors have 'momentum'

Nov 15, 2017

Republicans who control two-thirds of the nation's governorships are gathering in America's largest red state, discussing how to keep dominating heartland politics

AUSTIN, Texas — The Latest on the Republican Governors Association meeting in Texas (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence has told Republican governors at a gathering in Texas that "momentum is on our side" despite last week's electoral defeats and sagging White House approval ratings.

Pence said at the Republican Governors Association's annual meeting on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is committed to overseeing "historic" tax cuts year's end.

Pence called the association "the most effective political organization in the United States" and said that he and Trump "are pretty fond of our governors."

The feeling may not be entirely mutual. Republicans have to defend 26 governorships in 2018, after losses last week in New Jersey and Virginia.

Trump's approval ratings are falling and, so far, Congress hasn't kept promises to repeal the nation's health care law or cut taxes.


2 p.m.

The chairman of the Republican Governors Association insists that President Donald Trump's flagging popularity won't hinder the party's effort to defend 26 governorships in next year's midterm elections.

Speaking to reporters at an association meeting in Texas' capital on Wednesday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he has urged his colleagues to, "Run your own race."

He said that if Democrats' only argument is that Republicans are "in the same party as someone," that's going to be "a failing race."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott agreed, but added that it's important for Congress and the president do what they said they were going to do.

Trump's approval ratings are falling and the Republicans who control Congress have thus far failed to make good on their vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They are still working on tax cuts.


1:40 a.m.

Republicans who control two-thirds of the nation's governorships are gathering in America's largest red state, in part to strategize about how to maintain their political dominance.

But electoral defeats last week, unfulfilled congressional promises and President Donald Trump's plummeting popularity have some attendees concerned about a shifting political landscape.

Vice President Mike Pence will be the keynote speaker during the two-day gathering of the Republican Governors Association, which kicks off Wednesday in Austin, Texas.

Some of the former Indiana governor's ex-colleagues may need a pep talk. Just as some Democrats facing tight midterm elections once shied away from President Barack Obama, there might now be Republicans tempted to tip-toe away from their party's leadership.