Grappling with governing: Rep. John Curtis made Trump earn support


Editor’s note: Daily Universe reporters examined how Utah’s congressional delegation responded not only to the Capitol breach on Jan. 6 but the shift in the Republican Party over the last four years in a series of stories.

John Curtis has represented Utah’s 3rd Congressional District since 2017. He has made statements both in support of the Trump administration and critical of it. (Congressman Curtis)

Republican Rep. John Curtis has given mixed feedback throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, from disapproval of his personal conduct to condemning his protesting supporters.

“I didn’t vote for President Trump,” Curtis said in a video on Dec. 10, 2019. “So he’s had to earn from me my support. Sometimes he has and sometimes he has not, but this is a congressman who has not unequivocally given him everything he’s wanted.”

Curtis entered office in 2017 as the U.S. Representative for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. His statements regarding Trump since then show his views about the president.

February 2019 — ‘Work together across the aisle’

“As I watched the speech tonight, I was reminded that we can do extraordinary things if we work together as a Congress across the aisles in a bipartisan fashion,” Curtis said in a video response to Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address.

“I hope as all of us listened tonight we reaffirmed our commitment to work together across the aisle to accomplish great things for this country.”

December 2019 — Not happy with president’s actions, but won’t vote to impeach

“I’ve tried throughout this process to keep an open mind, but the articles of impeachment before me have made this vote a rather easy decision,” Curtis said in a video statement regarding impeachment proceedings against Trump. “I will be voting against these two charges.”

“That said, my decision should not be inferred to mean that I’m happy with all of the president’s actions, but that is not the vote at hand. I’m being asked to help remove a duly elected president and I do not feel that his actions have met that high standard.”

January 2020 – Praised Trump’s Iran speech

“I actually really liked what I heard from him,” Curtis said in response to Trump’s statement on tensions between the U.S. and Iran. “There seemed to be a lot of restraint; there seemed to be a thoughtful, careful response to the situation”

January 2021 — Will certify Utah’s electoral votes

Curtis released an official statement on Jan. 5 revealing his intentions to certify the Electoral College votes, unlike 147 of his colleagues who objected to formalizing the count in favor of president-elect Joe Biden.

“I have seen no evidence of wrongdoing within Utah and have no plans to object to Utah’s Electoral College certificates,” he said. “In fact, as I have watched the election process in Utah, I see within it a model for other states across the country.”

January 2021 – The President’s actions are unjustifiable

Curtis made clear his anger with Trump’s role in the invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters and others.

“What happened was an act of domestic terrorism inspired and encouraged by our president,” he tweeted. “Frustrations with elections I can understand, but the justification for the actions of the President and the mob I cannot.”

“No American, no elected leader, and certainly no president who participates, inspires, or condones actions such as these has my sympathy or support.”

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