President Trump says election loser Erik Paulsen 'didn't want the embrace'

Trump also praised Pete Stauber for winning the Minnesota 8th.
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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump used part of his post-mid-term press conference to praise the candidates who backed him during their campaigns, and slam those who didn't.

"Too bad" was his message to candidates who sought to distance themselves from the president ahead of the mid-terms, and one of those was former 3rd District Rep. Erik Paulsen.

Paulsen lost last night to DFL challenger Dean Phillips, and Trump singled him out during his Wednesday morning media briefing.

"Erik Paulsen didn't want the embrace," Trump said, as he spoke of those candidates who decided to "stay away" from his agenda, saying: "I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it."

In fairness to Paulsen, Republicans saw most of their losses on Tuesday in suburban districts, with the 3rd District – which covers the southwestern Twin Cities suburbs – among those.

If you look to the east, Rep. Jason Lewis – a staunch Trump backer – also lost in the 2nd District to Democrat Angie Craig, albeit not by as much as Paulsen lost the 3rd.

Although he voted the vast majority of time in Trump's favor, Paulsen had sought to distance himself during his election campaign from Trump, opposing his plans to mine the Boundary Waters, backing the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference, and not attending either of Trump's Minnesota rallies this year.

Read: A Minnesota House race was won by just 4 votes

In spite of this, Trump did endorse Paulsen twice on Twitter in the run-up to the mid-terms.

The president did reserve praise for some of those who did support his agenda, among them 8th District candidate Pete Stauber, who won election over Democrat Joe Radinovich.

"Pete Stauber, of Minnesota, great guy, he's new and ran a fantastic race," Trump said.

Here's the segment. He praises Stauber at around 0:43 and slams Paulsen at 1:50.

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