GOP Loss in Tuesday Race Should Be ‘Wake-Up Call,’ Mooch Says

Former White House communications director and longtime Trump loyalist faults divisions in Republican Party for apparent defeat in Pennsylvania

by Brendan Kirby | Updated 14 Mar 2018 at 1:30 PM

Republicans blew a special election Tuesday in a Pennsylvania congressional district that President Donald Trump won in 2016 by nearly 20 percentage points, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Wednesday.

Democrat Conor Lamb appears to have defeated Republican Rick Saccone by a few hundred votes out of more than 225,000 cast in the 18th Congressional District in western Pennsylvania, although a recount is possible. Assuming Lamb holds on, though, it puts Democrats one seat closer to their goal of retaking the House of Representatives in November.

“That was a district that we should have won,” Scaramucci said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Scaramucci (pictured above) said he is sticking to his earlier contention that the GOP can maintain control of the House. But he added that Tuesday’s results show it will be no cakewalk.

"I'm hoping that this is a wake-up call," he said. "We're down a couple of points in the first quarter, but we've got a better team and a better strategy."

Scaramucci said Republicans cannot let internal divisions distract them.

"We need to get ourselves together and even if we don't like people personally, we're wearing the same jersey," he said. "We're carrying the same helmet. Let's put down our personal, whatever our personal disagreements are, and let's play together as a team to win these races."

Scaramucci offered a mixed assessment of presidential historian and former Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Jon Meacham's observation on MSNBC Wednesday that Trump cannot transfer his popularity or base to other candidates.

Related: Conor Lamb 'Broke the Mold' in an Increasingly Far-Left Party, Rendell Says

"He's right and wrong," he said. "He's right if the operating style continues the way it is, where the president comes in deus ex machina, landing a couple of days before and trying to rally a base to vote for a candidate. He's wrong if we start to get the offensive coordination right, and we lay groundwork in those areas."

Lamb's candidacy offers a blueprint to Democratic strategists, Scaramucci said. The former Marine and prosecutor stressed support for gun rights, the military and President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

"These guys are not stupid, OK, and they've got Baskin-Robbins flavors in their party and are moving towards the center, centrist Democrats, if you will, like Conor Lamb — or even right-wing Democrats," Scaramucci said.

"And I think that would put a hurt on Republicans if we're not better organized. So we have to get better organized. We've got to get back in the locker room and look at what plays we're calling and adjust our plays."

PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

(photo credit, article image: Anthony Scaramucci, CC BY-SA 4.0, by Jdarsie11)

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