Indiana Democrat dines, talks taxes, with President Trump

Sen. Donnelly at Trump Bipartisan Dinner

WASHINGTON D.C. (WHAS11) -- President Trump dined with key Democrats this week in a bipartisan effort aimed at moving forwards with tax reform talks.

One of the Democrats who accepted the invitation is Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly.

But some are questioning whether the show of bipartisanship means compromise on the horizon or whether it will hurt an effort by Republicans to take that Donnelly's seat next year.

Recent history suggests that GOP leadership needs Democrat votes to get anything through. We reached out to Senator Donnelly for this story, his office pointed us to a prepared statement which read:

“I had another good conversation with President Trump about my proposal to address the outsourcing of American jobs. I am pleased he remains supportive of my proposal, and I believe that tax reform should include measures to support companies that invest in our workers and penalize companies that ship American jobs to foreign countries. I am hopeful we can work together to encourage domestic investments that benefit American workers.”

Two well-known Hoosiers hoping to take Donnelly's seat spoke with us via phone. Congressman Luke Messer and Todd Rokita are running for the Republican nomination for the US Senate seat currently held by Senator Donnelly.

“President Trump may not know the real Joe Donnelly,” said Rep. Todd Rokita, Indiana’s 4th District Republican, “but in Indiana we do and while he may be a nice guy you just can't trust him.
 

"Listen, unfortunately, Joe Donnelly has a habit of saying one thing and doing something else,” insisted Rep. Luke Messer, Indiana’s 6th District Republican.

Both Congressmen shared similar criticisms of their potential opponent in what some suggest will be one of the most hotly contested Senate races next year. We asked both Rep. Messer and Rep. Rokita the political question on the minds of many, was it a political mistake for President Trump to bring Joe Donnelly into the White House giving him an opportunity potentially play towards trump voters considering the what's at stake next year?

“Ultimately, no,” answered Rep. Rokita. “First of all, good policy is good politics and so we work with everybody but the fact of the matter is Joe Donnelly as he himself has said 9 times out of ten he votes with liberal elites and he'll do that again. At the end of the day and that's the reason I'm running.”

Rep. Messer answered, “I applaud the President for reaching out. Joe Donnelly knows that President Trump is very popular in Indiana. He knows that the President’s agenda is popular with the people of Indiana as well. He's under a lot of pressure to deliver here. The issue with Joe Donnelly is that again his actions are often not matched by his rhetoric.”

You can hear the full interview with Rep. Messer here: https://www.facebook.com/chriswnewsfanpage/videos/1469633796459581/

You can hear the full interview with Rep. Rokita here: https://www.facebook.com/chriswnewsfanpage/videos/1469644176458543/

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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