As the presidential race sank into R-rated territory, the wives of three sitting congressmen urged a dozen women sipping iced tea at Darryl’s Wood-Fired Grill last week to rise above the fray and get out the vote — for Donald Trump.
Citing issues such as border security and the future of the Supreme Court, they said the Republican nominee’s vision for the country far outweighed the torrent of bad press the mogul had been receiving for his words and purported actions against women.
“Place your trust in him. He deserves it,” said Lolita Zinke, the wife of Rep. Ryan K. Zinke, a Montana Republican and former Navy SEAL.
For these women, the calculus is straightforward: Mr. Trump may be a cad, but Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has done things they abhor, including failing to secure the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and promising to let more Syrian refugees into the U.S. amid questions about the vetting process.
“Donald Trump’s character is not actually what we’re voting on. We’re voting on his vision, his policy and his concerns,” said Debbie Meadows, the wife of Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican. “What we share are his concerns — for national security, for changing the direction of this nation. And that hasn’t changed.”
They also rejected the idea that Mrs. Clinton’s historic run as a female candidate should make them natural allies.
“It’s an insult to think I would vote for anyone based on the fact we share the same anatomy,” said LeeAnn Johnson, the wife of Rep. Bill Johnson, Ohio Republican.