President Trump tweeted recently, “Few people know where they’ll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska (which I love) campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski”, and then added “Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!”. Senator Murkowski drew ire from the President for praising James Mattis’ strong reprimand of Trump as “True, honest and necessary.” She also stated she was struggling with whether to vote for Trump or not in November.
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This was not one isolated incident but rather a series of events that led to Trump determining to be rid of Murkowski. Senator Murkowski has represented Alaska for nearly 20 years now, and has made a name for herself as perhaps the most liberal Republican in the Senate. She lost the 2010 Republican Primary to Joe Miller, and mounted a write-in campaign which narrowly won, making her only the second person to accomplish this. She voted with President Obama more than almost any other Republican, voting 72.3% of the time with him in 2013. As of April 2020, her voting with Trump has been scarcely higher at about 74%.
In that 26% of her voting where she diverged from the Trump Agenda, two left a mark: her vote against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court (almost making him lose the nomination in a 50-48 tally) and her vote against the skinny repeal of the Affordable Care Act in 2017, which was one of the deciding votes that made the vote fail.
This confrontation was perhaps inevitable given Trump’s disposition to bluntly criticize those he disagrees with from either aisle and Murkowski’s voting patterns. She still has two years left before the 2022 Election so amends can still be made, although whether that can happen remains to be seen.