Washington — The Republican primary in mid-2022 is rapidly becoming a battlefield to rule the party.
Most presidents, especially defeated first-year students, escape quietly, allowing the party’s top elected officials to grab the reins. Not Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump has gained a public presence in the last few weeks after a slump in the months following his resignation in January. He abandoned Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell as “the son of a bitch,” supporting primary challengers to sit in Republicans who consider him dishonest, and raise GOP funding from the party. He tried to divert it to his own political organization.
For Republican leaders in Congress responsible for regaining the House of Representatives and the Senate, the post-Trump landscape is becoming a dangerous minefield without a historic playbook to help them navigate it. Increasing power struggles can affect the 2022 elections when political parties want to take control of the Democratic Party’s narrow majority in the House and Senate.
Party officials recognize that Trump maintains loyalty among Republican bases, and that his support is important. They fear he could anoint candidates who are loyal in the primary but cannot choose. They are also worried that he may interfere with the candidates he dislikes.
Trump’s disgust is distracting, says senior members of the party, and dilutes their message in a way that helps Democrats.
Matt Gorman, a former communications director at the National Republican Congressional Campaign Division NRCC, told NBC News:
McConnell sought to focus the party on criticizing Biden’s agenda, including opposition to the $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 bailout bill and the Democratic Party’s proposal to raise taxes to pay a wide range of infrastructure bills.
“The midterm elections are always basically just against the incumbent president. That’s the success of the Democratic Party in 2018, they said,” We hate Trump, I A long-time Republican strategist who demanded anonymity said he would speak openly about the strategy. The Democrats won 40 seats in the House of Representatives and handed Nancy Pelosi the chairman Gavel again.
Instead, in this cycle, Trump focuses on repeating false claims about the 2020 elections. Mr. Trump recently spoke to a room full of Republican donors and attacked McConnell on January 6 for not objecting to the number of electors. Senate leaders also gave a fierce speech suggesting that the former president could be held criminally liable.
Trump is trying to tilt the scale in the selected primary election. He approved former aide Max Miller to play against Ohio Republican Anthony Gonzalez. He also vowed to campaign against Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney. All the incumbents he is challenging voted to impeach him in the instigation of riots earlier this year.
In the Missouri Senate public race, Kimberly Gilfoil, who is dating former president’s son Don Trump Jr., is the new “national chairman” of the Eric Greatens campaign. Greatens is a former governor who resigned in 2018 in a scandal accused of threatening a woman with whom he had a relationship. Senate Republican campaign officials say that in a state where Republicans should easily win, Gratens may have a hard time winning the general election.
In the Senate elections in Alabama, Trump has already approved Congressman Mo Brooks, a loyal Trump ally who helped lead Congressional efforts against the recognition of the 2020 elections.
Senator Rick Scott, who is also in charge of the Senate Republican campaign and has 2024 presidential ambitions, is trying to keep Trump folding. He recently appeared with Trump to give him an award — an honor created by the NRSC to give him a prize.
Scott acknowledged the division between McConnell and Trump and added that he was trying to “gather everyone.” He has visited Trump twice and spoke on the phone once since the former president resigned. He said at a meeting he told the former president to focus on the Democratic Party and Biden and refrain from supporting the party.
“My goal is … he wants voters to pick and support (Republican candidates) after the primary,” Scott told NBC News. “Obviously, that’s not what he was in Alabama.”
Republican donor and oil and gas executive Dan Eberhart told him that at the event Trump attacked McConnell, some party donors he spoke to left during Trump’s remarks in 2022. He said it was “very annoying” for the candidate.
“This weekend we were almost sure that the party would continue to move forward and build on the success of the Trump era, but stay away from the trap of orbiting around Trump,” he said. Added.
House Minority Whip Steve Scallis, R-La. Avoided asking whether Trump was undermining the Republican mission to regain control of Congress by the swearing leader.
“We are very focused on getting the House back next year,” he said in a press conference. Frankly, when you look at the socialist agenda being promoted by Chairman Pelosi and President Biden, people are avoiding it. “.
Even if McConnell doesn’t oxygenate the feud by ignoring questions about Trump’s criticism, some Republicans simply want the spats to disappear.
“Hopefully there will be some sort of truce,” McConnell’s adjutant, Senator John Thune, told reporters. “It’s hard to predict and predict what will happen there, but I think it’s in the best interests of everyone, including the former president, to help win the majority in 2022,” he said. Said. Said. “And that means working with Senate Republicans, not against them.”
Toon is particularly attuned to the power struggle. He hasn’t said he will run again, but his seat will be reelected. Trump suggested that Governor Kristi Noem should challenge Toon in the primary after South Dakota Senator criticized his role in the January 6 riots.
As Congressmen prepare to meet in Orlando for this weekend’s annual retreat, Cheney, who runs the retreat, said, “Republicans are back in the party of ideas, a policy of substance and conservatism. . “
Is Trump attending? “I haven’t invited him,” she said.