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Trump’s willingness to defend his own interests at others’ expense is showing in the final days of his campaign. It is showing generally, with his willingness to expose his supporters to coronavirus infections at his rallies. It is showing more specifically with Trump’s refusal to support endangered Republican Senators who have stood by him and lost support because of it. At Trump’s recent visit to Maine, he did not mention Senator Susan Collins, who is in a tight race with her Democratic challenger, Sara Gideon.
In Arizona, Trump mocked vulnerable senator Martha McSally. “Martha, just come up fast. Fast. Fast. Come on. Quick. You got one minute!” Trump said, as the senator rushed to the stage for some airtime with the president. “One minute, Martha! They don't want to hear this, Martha. Come on. Let’s go. Quick, quick, quick. Come on. Let’s go.” Trump gave McSally just 60 seconds to speak before turning the microphone over to other national figures.
For her part, McSally shrugged off Trump’s treatment of her.
"Give me a break," McSally told reporters Thursday at an event with Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., in Scottsdale. "President Trump will be President Trump, and I'm fighting with him to save the country."
To political experts who watch Trump and Congress closely, the moment suggested something more.
Lara Brown, associate professor and the director of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, said Trump’s treatment of McSally suggests he doesn’t think she’s going to win Tuesday's special election, which fills the vacancy left by the death of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
"He doesn’t want to have an association with a losing candidate," she said. "He likes winners."
Brown added: “This is about his interest in distancing him and his campaign from her. In other words, he thinks she is what is causing him to have trouble in Arizona, not the other way around.”