For the past few weeks, Donald Trump and his allies have been closely monitoring prominent Conservatives who the President believes will want to throw him under the bus if he loses his reelection offer.
Two people who spoke with Trump say the president has voiced suspicions that members of his own party believe he will be defeated by Joe Biden. This feeling of paranoia has been fed by the president’s aides and confidants, who have brought him reports of Republican politicians either openly criticizing his behavior or trying to distance themselves from an impending election bloodbath.
According to one of the sources with direct knowledge, the president is already considering retaliation.
“[The president] said something about the effect of, if you back off with him now, don̵
Part of the coverage that has been bookmarked for Trump includes recent reports on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who not only split with the president over coronavirus-related stimulus legislation, but has also indicated that it has not been in Weeks in the White House because of its carefree approach to the pandemic.
Trump’s friction with Republican senators doesn’t stop there. Last week, the President attacked Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) on Twitter for “a bad rumor” that she was going to stand against his Supreme Court candidate, Amy Coney Barrett. He said of the endangered incumbent: “Not worth the work!”
The easy thing was met with sighs from Trump strategists, who realized that this was completely unnecessary: he already has enough votes for Barrett’s confirmation.
Additionally, in Trump’s inner sanctuary, there is strong suspicion that Senator Ben Sasse’s (R-NE) office leaked the contents of a call with voters punishing the president for embracing dictators and failing to condemn conspirators. Trump’s anger over the call boiled over with another Twitter attack on Saturday.
Then there is Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who recently made two statements targeting what he calls a caustic turn in national politics. Noteworthy in these statements was the condemnation of Trump and little criticism of Biden.
“You hate to see it, but after you’ve been on Capitol Hill, speaking against your own party is a great way to get attention,” said former MP Jack Kingston (R-GA), who has been Years as official Trump acts as a surrogate. “Ben Sasse is a smart guy and I’m sorry he decided this was the time to run. [but] I don’t know how it helps the swing state [Republicans] either … but you still don’t see the ideological people break. If Ralph Reed said, “OK, I’m out of here,” it would be different. “
However, there are some key players in conservative politics among the signalers ready to jump ship. One of the president’s most powerful and influential confidants, billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, told his staff he believed Biden would win in a landslide, The Daily Beast reported last week. Murdoch specifically said he was turned down due to the president’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis.
Sources familiar with the situation say Trump and Murdoch haven’t spoken to each other in several weeks. A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the story, but Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, said in a statement: “President Trump won in 2016 without the support of political insiders, and he will do it again . The president is backed by over 90 percent of Republicans, and our rally data shows that about a quarter of rally registrants aren’t even registered as Republicans. “
But the knives are out and not just for perceived coats. The guilt game has already begun within the broad universe of GOP activists working to re-elect the president. A senior Republican official who consulted with the campaign said that while staff were still confident that the president could win, they were also increasingly alarmed by what the official called “gross incompetence in the way of doing things.” how things were spent “.
“I think there is a reality where this happens in a campaign. This is where people find out who is to blame, ”the officer said. When asked who would accept this mistake, the source added, “That is out of the question [former campaign manager] Brad [Parscale] will take a big chunk of it because it’s easy. But anyone with a brain who looks back on it will point to Jared [Kushner]. Jared can’t be both mastermind and impeccable. “
In broader GOP circles, a bit of cold realism about Trump’s prospects has prevailed. Few, if any, are Pollyannaic. The optimism that remains is related to two features of the race: that the president faced similar skepticism (including within his own party) four years ago and is still winning; and for that to be so, the Trump campaign has invested significantly more in voter turnout than in 2016.
“He doesn’t win, but there was always the feeling that he was in that position that it is getting tighter and that we have this base game that makes us overdone, ”said a GOP official who was involved in the re-election effort.
But even this official admitted the limits of the spin. “A ground game is a field goal in a close game,” said the referee. “It’s not three touchdowns.”
There was an expectation among Republican activists that Trump’s electoral deficit on Biden would close with the upcoming election. This aggravation has not happened as quickly as they hoped, and explanations for it include the president’s flammable debut performance, his personal infection with a virus that he downplayed and the fact that it was spent on the radio waves.
There’s also a growing consensus among GOP advisors that Trump lost some of the political instincts that made him both unorthodox and effective in 2016. It was then that Trump closed the campaign by largely sticking to the script, holding rallies, and only posting secular tweets. In that round, he has embraced wilder conspiracies – like the staged attack on Osama bin Laden – and ran more Facebook ads attacking Hillary Clinton than pursuing Biden in stores.
“I think it’s difficult when you’re in the White House, but it’s different from 2016,” the GOP official said. “They just don’t have news discipline. It’s been completely off track the whole time. “