WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans have stepped up their public criticism Former President Donald Trump On Thursday, some said it was time to move the party on after the unexpectedly grim showing Even as he prepares to launch a third White House bid next week in the midterms.
Virginia’s Republican lieutenant governor, Winsome Earle-Sears, once a vocal Trump supporter, said voters on Tuesday sent a “very clear message” that “enough is enough.”
“The voters have spoken and said they want a different leader. A true leader understands when they become a liability,” he said A Look at Fox Business. “A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage. It’s time to move on.”
Earle-Sears, who served as co-chair of the group Black Americans to Re-elect President Trump in 2020, also said she “couldn’t” support another Trump campaign.
Some advisers urged Trump to delay His planned announcement comes after the Dec. 6 Senate runoff election in Georgia That could determine which party controls the Senate to avoid turning the race into a referendum on him and inadvertently helping Democrats. But Trump rejected that suggestion and invited reporters to a “special announcement” at his Mar-a-Lago club on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 9 p.m.
After winning the nomination in 2016 and dominating the party, largely unchallenged, he is trying to mount a comeback in an unusually vulnerable state. Still, Trump has proven remarkably resilient in maintaining his support. , through the “Access Hollywood” scandal that nearly sank his first campaign, and the terrible storm of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who easily won re-election on Tuesday, is getting new attention as Republicans openly weigh leaving Trump.
Senate no. 2 Republican Sen. of South Dakota. John Thune noted Trump’s role in fielding some inexperienced and controversial candidates during the primaries earlier this year who lost in this week’s elections.
In an interview, Thune said “there is no substitute for good quality candidates”.
“We had a very competitive, competitive primary this year,” Thune said. “In some cases, you know, in some of those species there were multiple forces at work, including outsiders.”
Thune said he hopes the party will start seeing the emergence of younger leaders.
“You can’t have a party built around one person’s personality,” he said.
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who clashed with Trump during his first two years in office, called Trump “a drag on our ticket” that could hurt the party’s chances in 2024.
“We want to win the White House, and we know we’re more likely to lose with Trump.” He said in an interview with WISN 12 News. “If we have a candidate not named Trump, our candidate is more likely to win the White House than Trump.”
Retiring Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey also blamed Trump’s meddling for GOP losses in his state, and noted that Trump-backed candidates are worse than other Republicans.
“I think my party has to face the fact that if loyalty to Donald Trump is the primary criterion for picking candidates, we’re really not going to do very well,” he said on CNN. “Nationwide there is a very high correlation between MAGA candidates and big losses or at least dramatic underperformers.”
Trump has disputed that he had a bad night.
“To many who are being fed a fake story from the corrupt media that I’m angry about the midterms, don’t believe it,” he said on his social media network. “I don’t hold a grudge at all, do a great job (I don’t run!), and am too busy looking into the future. Remember, I’m a ‘static genius.’
And Trump-backed candidates are likely to win their races. Even if the landslide victory predicted by Republicans did not materialize, the party still appears to be in a good position to flip the House and could eventually take the Senate as well. Many species are too early to call.
“There are no such things as ugly wins or beautiful losses,” said Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign staffer who was among those who advised him to delay his planned announcement. Until the Georgia runoff.
“Nancy Pelosi’s political career is over,” he predicted. “The Biden agenda is dead.”
Other Trump associates issued statements to media outlets on behalf of the former president, endorsing him ahead of his upcoming announcement.
“I am proud to support Donald J. Trump for president in 2024. I fully support his re-election,” House GOP Leader Elise Stefanik said in a statement. “It’s time for Republicans to unite around the most popular Republican in America, who has a proven track record of conservative governance.”
“If he runs in 2024, he will have not only my support, but the support of millions of Americans across the country,” said Rep. Jim Banks, a top congressional ally.
JD Vance, the Ohio Senate candidate who emerged as Trump’s successful running mate, said he believes he will be the party’s nominee if the former president decides to run again.
“Every year, the media writes a political obituary of Donald Trump. “Every year, we’re quickly reminded that Trump is the most popular person in the Republican Party,” Vance said in a statement provided after the hearing to Trump’s spokeswoman.
Trump’s decision to move forward now is driven, in part, by his desire to try to freeze the field and lock in support in an effort to prevent DeSantis’ rise.
In a sign of his growing frustration, Trump issued a long and angry statement Thursday evening, blasting Fox News and other Rupert Murdoch-controlled media outlets for going “all over Gov. Ron DeSanctimonius DeSantis” and calling him “a mean Republican governor.” Great public relations,” he once again credited DeSantis for his 2018 win.
While Trump allies have previously insisted that reports of tensions between the men were exaggerated, Trump, who privately chastised DeSantis for failing to rule out a run against him, has done so publicly.
“Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s not really the right answer,” he wrote, comparing the race to his successful 2016 campaign. “We’re in the same position now. They’ll keep coming at us, MAGA, but in the end, we’ll win. Put America first and make America great again!”
___ Associated Press writers Stephen Groves in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia contributed to this report.
Follow AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections. For more on the issues and factors involved in the by-elections, visit https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections.
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