“She has allowed her substance to be subsumed by President Trump’s style, which she emulates,” the board wrote of the congresswoman. “She has compromised her character by defending his.”
Ms. Stefanik has, of late, tried to create a sliver of daylight between herself and the president, stressing her bipartisanship and willingness to work across the aisle even as Mr. Trump offered her a hearty endorsement on Twitter, praising Ms. Stefanik for doing “a terrific job” and for exposing “the Radical Left’s lies!”
The balancing act hints at the challenge for Ms. Stefanik, who insisted that she has criticized the president — “Some of the tweets, some of the rhetoric toward women I’ve spoken out against that,” she said — and notes she has voted against him more frequently than many of her fellow Republicans in the House.
She also says that she could work with a Democratic president, noting that when she was first elected, President Barack Obama was still in office. She said she worked for him — and Mr. Trump — “very effectively.”
“I think that’s what sets me apart,” she said.
On Monday, Ms. Stefanik unveiled a new advertisement, entitled “Bipartisan,” featuring her wandering through a barn packed with cattle while touting her ability to work across the aisle.
“Because if they can get along, so should the folks in Washington,” Ms. Stefanik says, looking at one of her bovine backers. “Right?”
The cow moos.
That said, there’s little doubt which president she prefers. A half-hour after her cow ad debuted, Ms. Stefanik’s campaign put out another news release, praising Mr. Trump for his support of the military and noting that Ms. Stefanik brought the president to Fort Drum for the signing of a bill that increased military pay.
The release included a photograph of Ms. Stefanik, standing against a wall of uniformed troops. And standing behind her, beaming, is President Trump.