Home News Trump Continues to Bend GOP to His Will with Flurry of Endorsements

Trump Continues to Bend GOP to His Will with Flurry of Endorsements

Trump Continues to Bend GOP to His Will with Flurry of Endorsements
Source: People

Donald Trump worked for months to persuade a longstanding supporter to run against Georgia’s Republican governor. He provided David Perdue a boost this week by negotiating a deal for a challenger to drop out of the race and run for Congress instead, with the former president’s prized endorsement.

“‘Listen, you have a chance,’ he added. “You can do for this country what you can do at the state level,” Vernon Jones, the candidate, said in an interview recounting his encounter with Trump. “Of course, he stated I’d have his backing since we’re on the same page.”

In other states, Trump is adopting a similar technique. For example, in North Carolina, he has urged another Senate candidate to drop out and run for Congress. He’s looking for a Senate candidate to support in New Hampshire. One candidate in Ohio’s Republican Senate contest resigned last week after Trump made it obvious that he would not back him.

On the eve of what might be a difficult primary season, Trump’s initiatives serve as a reminder of his clout over the GOP. As he explores a run for the White House, the former president remains the most popular figure among Republicans. He has no qualms about using that pull to take vengeance on his foes and further bind the party to his will.

Some Republicans argue that by doing so, Trump is creating turmoil in an election year that should be advantageous to Republicans.

Trump’s attempt to remove Jones from the governor’s race in Georgia, for example, was an attempt to avoid a possible runoff election. However, by directing Jones to the contest to succeed Rep. Jody Hice, he created a new challenge.

The primary field for Hice’s seat was extremely packed, and the congressman had previously endorsed many Trump supporters.

“It’s a shambles.” “It’s a shambles,” said Chip Lake, a Republican strategist in the state who predicted that Trump’s endorsement of so many candidates would lead to some of them losing.

“Everyone in Georgia wants Trump’s endorsement,” he said, “but Trump’s endorsement is clearly stretched thin.” “We all know that when you throw anything at the wall, only part of it sticks,” he said.

Despite the fact that a Trump spokeswoman did not reply to queries, Trump has continued to claim his endorsement record as proof of his political power.

In a call-in appearance with Fox Business Network on Tuesday morning, he stated, “We’re sponsoring some terrific folks.” “We’re looking for those who will put America first.”

Trump and his advisers thought that by endorsing candidates, they would be able to clear the field in many races, avoiding costly and contentious primary battles that would hurt the ultimate Republican nominees. In some circumstances, this worked.

After he declared his support for Harriet Hageman’s campaign against Rep. Liz Cheney, a vocal Trump opponent, a flurry of candidates dropped out in Wyoming.

Herschel Walker, a retired football player who was pushed to run by Trump, is the front-runner for the Republican Senate nomination in Georgia. After some early hesitancy and worrying claims that may affect him in the general election, the Republican establishment, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, endorsed Walker in a rare partnership with the Trump side of the party.

Trump’s meddling in the primaries, on the other hand, risks escalating tensions inside the Republican Party at a particularly delicate time.

The Republican National Committee’s decision last week to rebuke two legislators who have regularly crossed Trump has left the party in disarray. The Republican National Committee also slammed the Democratic-led House committee investigating the Jan. 6 uprising, calling it a “persecution of regular Americans engaging in legal political dialogue.” Many Republican senators and other Washington officials criticized the action as being both substantively and politically unwise.

Trump is far from the first president to return to politics after leaving office. Barack Obama has backed a number of candidates and campaigned with a number of them. George W. Bush has taken a low profile, but he has backed Cheney, his vice president’s daughter and one of the politicians targeted by the RNC.

The quantity of Trump’s endorsements and the granularity of his effort, on the other hand, are noteworthy. He started setting the framework for some of the agreements while still in the White House in certain cases.

In North Carolina, Trump has been trying for years to get Rep. Mark Walker to drop out of the Senate race so that Rep. Ted Budd, whom the former president backed in June to the surprise of many, might run.

Trump made his argument in person twice, according to Walker, first in the Oval Office in 2019 with Vice President Mike Pence to his left and acting White House top of staff Mick Mulvaney on his right. In December, he stepped up the effort at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

“He promised us that if we ran for the House, we’d have his endorsement,” Walker claimed. “And look, I’m not anti-Trump… but, with all due respect, I have to do what my heart tells me to do.”

Despite Trump’s endorsement and the support of the conservative Club for Growth super PAC, which has spent more than $4.3 million into the campaign so far, Budd continues to behind the leader, former Gov. Pat McCrory.

Despite Trump’s push, Walker is staying in the race.

“I don’t want to create the image that if we don’t do the right thing, someone is outside with a crowbar, slashing my tires,” he remarked. “They’ve treated it with deference.”

Meanwhile, some Trump supporters are growing impatient with the president’s tardiness in other primaries, such as Ohio’s packed Senate race, where military and foreign absentee voting is expected to begin next month.

Although Trump did not issue an endorsement, he did manage to narrow the field last week when contender Bernie Moreno announced his withdrawal after meeting with Trump and asking for an endorsement. Trump turned down the offer.

Trump is still looking for favorite candidates in other areas. Trump is scrambling to recruit a candidate in the carefully watched Senate contest in New Hampshire, where the 2016 primary helped boost his presidential campaign.

Corey Lewandowski, a longtime Trump lieutenant who was dismissed from his post directing Trump’s super PAC over sexual harassment charges, said he’s been urged to find a strong Republican candidate, and it’s not going well so far.

He stated, “It’s evident that there is no prominent America First candidate in the campaign.” “However, in 2022, it’s a highly winnable seat for the Republicans.”

Trump’s endorsement has sparked controversy in several contests.

Some Trump supporters in Tennessee are furious that he endorsed former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus before she had started her congressional campaign. High-profile supporters who had previously backed Robby Starbuck, a lifelong Trump supporter, were angered by the switch.

“People usually jump on when President Trump makes an endorsement… and they’re normally quite supportive.” So it’s amazing to see such a wide range of reactions,” Starbuck remarked of the response. “It’s not that his support isn’t valuable. It’s because people can understand that mistakes happen, and he’s human, and he made a mistake here.”