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Congressman Reed meets Trump, calls for unified strategy

March 24, 2016
By Jimmy McCarthy ( , Westfield Republican

Republican front-runner Donald Trump met with GOP supporters, including U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, on Monday to move a unified strategy forward on America's future.

Reed, R-C-I-Corning, said the gathering at the Nation's Capital demonstrated a need to set a vision that creates jobs and moves the country in the right direction. The congressman endorsed Trump last week, citing confidence in the American voters.

Reed said it's time to unite on the Republican side to ensure "we don't have four more years of continued policy that Hillary Clinton is going to bring to the table."

"It was a great start in developing and continuing the relationship with Trump," Reed said. "We're going to use our influence to make sure that we're focusing the campaign as best as possible on what is important to the people. This was a recognition that we need to unify."

Reed said he indicated a need to focus rhetoric on the day-to-day issues. Reed said Trump's rhetoric, a legitimate issue raised, is speaking to the people in a nonpolitical way. The congressman said he hopes the national debate among presidential candidates focuses on jobs, national security and fiscal order.

With a divide among GOP members on Trump, Reed said he's concerned of a possible open convention and efforts being made to change the rules. Reed said he respects the democratic process as the focus must shift to unite the party.

"I don't think a contested convention is going to occur," Reed said. "We should make sure that we do not change rules just because we don't like the collective wisdom that's being expressed by the American people. I don't want to be part of that."

Reed originally backed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before he stepped out of the race last month. Questions followed on who he would endorse next.

Reed concluded that it was best to support a nominee to show the people where he stood. Reed said Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino's push to New York leaders to support Trump wasn't a factor in making his decision.

"I believe the energy Trump is bringing is positive," Reed said. "What influenced me was watching the millions of people engaged in the process and supporting Trump."

John Plumb, Democratic candidate for Congress, said Reed's endorsement and meeting with Trump shows the congressman supports reckless rhetoric that makes the country less safe. Plumb, D-Jamestown, was a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, a Department of Defense official and a staff member on the National Security Council. Plumb said keeping Americans safe is his highest priority.

"That's what I have done and that's what I'll continue to do. With his dangerous rhetoric, proposals to expand the use of torture and threats to target civilians, Donald Trump is weakening our standing internationally and is putting our military men and women at risk in every geographic combatant commander's area of responsibility around the globe," Plumb said.



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