Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said the Republican Party isn’t in as much of a civil war as some would like to believe and is doing pretty well overall.
“Right now you've got a substantial majority of Republicans in governorships and the state legislatures, both houses of Congress and the president just won, so the party is in good shape but, yeah, we've got some divisions,” Portman said on “Meet The Press” on NBC.
When challenged by host Chuck Todd, Portman said there have been some elections that surprised him with anti-establishment fervor, such as the primary race to replace Jeff Sessions as Alabama’s next senator, but for the most part, establishment candidates are doing OK.
“Look, the Republican primary voters, you know, have spoken in a couple of these primaries, particularly in Alabama recently, no question about it,” he said. “But by the same token, so-called establishment type Republicans, you know, won in Montana, won in Georgia, when people thought that those races were going to go the other way. So I think the party is in pretty good shape.”
When it comes down to it, voters are most worried about their lawmakers getting things done in Washington and Portman said that’s how he won re-election last year.
“Well, I had a primary. I also had a general election that we won by 21 points in a state that's considered a swing state because we focused on working together across the aisle and getting stuff done. I mean I was not shy about talking about it, and I was able to talk about specific accomplishments,” he said.
“Fifty bills being signed into law by President Obama, by the way, and I think that actually is, you know, what people are looking for. When I was just home this weekend, I don't hear people talking about the latest in Washington, they're talking about are you guys going to get this tax reform done because I'm looking for a middle class tax cut. I'm looking for a way to get my earnings up, my wages up.”