Donald Trump is no more president. Trump was impeached for his role in inciting an uprising. He cost Republicans the majority in the Senate, not just once, but twice. The most recent was in 2022. And he’s a proven turnoff for swing and suburban voters.
Yet on the eve of his expected 2024 presidential announcement, Republican lawmakers still can’t find it in themselves to publicly break from Trump.
“I’ve said it’s a free country and he’s going to do what he’s going to do. Probably not going to listen to what I have to say,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D. told reporters on Monday when asked if he’d support a Trump 2024 bid.
“I’m not going to suggest I can tell the guy what to do, but our party has got to be forward-looking,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.).
The GOP’s hands-off approach to Trump didn’t work during the 2016 Republican primaries, when his opponents weren’t able to coalesce around a single rival amid a crowded field of candidates. Republicans now look at the possibility that Trump will launch a third presidential campaign, and are pondering the same outcome.
A large portion of the GOP base remains fondly in favor of the former president. It would take collective action to remove him. Some established Republicans hope that Florida Governor will succeed Trump. Ron DeSantis as a rival, but it’s unclear whether he’s willing to challenge Trump. DeSantis has been attacked by the former president and even threatened to blackmail his replacement.
“Currently, Ron DeSantis is the leader of the Republican Party, whether he wants to be or not,” Sen. Cynthia Lumis, R-Wyo. told reporters Monday. Trump should also be urged by the senator not to make his presidential announcement until after Georgia’s Senate runoff election.
Republicans lost a Senate runoff in Georgia in 2021 in large part due to Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election. Now they’re going into another Georgia runoff with Trump dominating headlines in a purple state where college-educated suburban voters are likely to decide whether Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) survives or Republican Herschel Walker heads to Washington.
Some establishment GOP voices ― who were already critical of Trump ― called on their party to finally come to its senses.
“That’s the definition of insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, potential candidate for the 2024 GOP presidency, spoke in an interview this weekend.
“It’s like the aging pitcher who keeps losing games. If we want to win, we need a different pitcher on the mound,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) added Monday. “It’s time for him to get off the mound because we have a real strong bench of young people who are ready to go.”
But so far, it’s mostly been Trump’s critics who are speaking out against his hold on the GOP. The push to dump Trump hasn’t become the growing chorus that some had expected after the party’s lackluster midterm performance. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a top House Republican who supports Trump’s potential 2024 bid, has already endorsed it.
“I’ve decided ― as a recovering politician ― I don’t have to have any opinions on any of the political stuff. I have more freedom not to have an opinion,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.The Sunday Review was informed by, who announced that he is retiring this year.
Senator Richard Shelby (R.Ala.), who also resigned this year from Congress, stated that it would be “premature” You can weigh in on the Trump presidential candidacy.
“I’m going to retire and go home,” Shelby stated. Shelby responded to The Sunday Review’s observation that retiring senators are more free to express their opinions, “We’ve all got liberties. It comes with trepidation sometimes.”
A number of high-profile Trump-backed Senate candidate lost last week. These included Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Don Bolduc (New Hampshire), Blake Masters in Arizona, Adam Laxalt and Adam Laxalt (Nevada). The Nevada Senate race clinched the majority for Democrats over the weekend, lowering the stakes for Georgia’s Dec. 6 runoff.
The House is favored by Republicans to win a narrow majority. However, they have underperformed after Trump-backed candidates lost races in many battleground states.
Republican senators gave several different reasons for their party’s losses in the midterm elections on Monday. Some acknowledged that the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, upending the right to abortion, hurt their party with suburban voters, while others pointed their finger at the lies spread about the 2020 presidential vote.
“It’s clear that running on relitigating the 2020 election is not a winning strategy,” Thune was referring to the lies about widespread voter fraud propagated by Trump and many GOP candidates.