Like many members of Congress, 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin doesn’t like to be pinned down.

That is the kind of thing you can do in Washington, where there are many votes on every issue and complicated procedures can obscure the ones that really matter.

But that’s in Washington. Like every other Mainer, Poliquin will be asked to cast just one vote for president in November, and he should not get away with playing both sides on this important question.

Will Poliquin vote for Donald Trump or not? The congressman won’t say.

The question presents itself again because Poliquin is piggybacking on a major part of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. On Tuesday, Poliquin responded to the discovery that a former Freeport resident had become radicalized and joined the so-called Islamic State forces in Syria, where he was killed in combat in January 2015.

OVERREACTION

Poliquin issued a statement “in light of news regarding a Freeport refugee” that condemned resettlement programs and claimed that President Obama “and his liberal allies are ignoring the rightful concerns of millions of Americans and moving forward with a dangerous Middle East immigration and refugee policy.”

That lines Poliquin up directly with Trump when it comes to taking advantage of Americans’ fears and demonizing people who are trying to escape from murderous regimes during wartime. The Poliquin-Trump position calls for a screening process so strict it would eliminate risk to American communities.

But there is no screening process that would have prevented Adnan Fazeli from entering the country, if you can believe the FBI. According to its investigation, Fazeli self-radicalized in Maine with the aid of jihadi internet sites. The only vetting that would have kept him out of the country would have been the outright ban on all immigration from war-torn countries that Trump proposes, which amounts to an abandonment of America’s historic commitment to humanitarian relief.

Since Poliquin is on the same side as Trump when it comes to immigration, and, according to earlier statements, they agree on trade, it is odd that the Maine Republican will not publicly support his party’s nominee.

TRUMP UNQUALIFIED

Maine Sen. Susan Collins recently made it clear that she won’t vote for Trump because she considers that lack of character and discipline make him unfit for high office. Other Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan have chosen to overlook Trump’s personality flaws because they agree with him on policy.

But where is Poliquin? He won’t say.

It’s easy to see why. Associating with Trump could alienate many independents who might otherwise vote Republican if they weren’t repelled by the presidential nominee. Denouncing Trump risks offending his hard-core supporters, who make up a significant part of the Republican electorate. So he appears to be sending coy signals to Trump supporters while refusing to comment on the record about his support for the candidate.

Neither group of voters should let Poliquin get away with this. There will be only one vote for president, and no one can have it both ways.