Susan Collins declines to say whether she'll support Trump
Posted March 3, 2020 3:13 p.m. EST
CNN — GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who is up for reelection in Maine, would not say if she voted for President Donald Trump in Tuesday's primary in her state.
She twice declined to answer the question.
"I already answered that question," Collins told CNN when asked if she supported Trump's reelection bid.
Collins' spokesperson referred CNN to comments the senator made last Friday when she was asked if she is supporting Trump. But in that interview, she didn't directly answer when asked if she backed the President's 2020 bid.
While Collins has a close connection to her state — and overwhelmingly won her last race in 2014 — Democrats are hopeful that they can finally beat the four-term senator in 2020.
"I have voted by absentee ballot, just to make sure that I voted," Collins told WCSH in Portland, Maine. "And I would note that it's on the Democratic side that there are eight candidates, and my likely opponent as well as the governor and many other Democratic officials have not said who they are going to choose in what is a contested Democratic ballot. I'm focused on my job and also on my own campaign, and I'm just not going to get involved in presidential politics."
Maine state House Speaker Sara Gideon, who's earned the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and EMILY's List in the Democratic Senate primary, has not said whom she's backing for president. A Gideon spokeswoman did not immediately respond for comment.
Collins did not vote for Trump in 2016. But last month, Collins voted to acquit the President in his impeachment trial while criticizing his conduct with Ukraine. Now she is up for reelection in a Democratic-leaning state where she also needs Trump supporters. Moreover, Trump is expected to try to compete in the state given that it splits its electoral votes, and the state's northern 2nd District backed him by double digits in 2016.