Yesterday, ahead of Señor Trumpanzee’s announcement, the Club for Growth sent a warning shot, wrote Alex Isenstadt, at Trump indicating it might back Gov. DeSanctimonious in the 2024 presidential primaries. They released polling showing DeSanct beating Trump in head-to-head matchups in key states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and Georgia, in each case DeSanct having picked up support and Trump having lost support since early August.
In front of his announcement, Republicans lined up to discourage Trump. Rupert Murdoch, for example, has been really clear in letting Trump know that his media empire will not get behind him this time around. Writing for The Guardian today, Mark Sweney reported that “Murdoch has reportedly warned Donald Trump his media empire will not back any attempt to return to the White House… After the Republican party’s disappointing performance in the US midterm elections, in particular the poor showing by candidates backed by Trump, Murdoch’s rightwing media empire appears to be seeking a clean break from the former president’s damaged reputation and perceived waning political power. Last week, Murdoch’s influential media empire, including right-leaning Fox News, his flagship paper the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post, each rounded on Trump, calling him a loser and a flop responsible for dragging the Republicans into ‘one political fiasco after another.’”
“We have been clear with Donald. There have been conversations between them during which Rupert made it clear to Donald that we cannot back another run for the White House,” a senior News Corp source told the newspaper.
…Lachlan Murdoch, the heir apparent and eldest son, who co-chairs News Corp and runs the parent company of Fox News, has reportedly told DeSantis that the group would back him if he ran in the next election. “Lachlan has been keen on Ron for some time… He’s viewed within the organisation as a sanitised version of Donald.”
GOP hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin called Trump a “three-time loser” and said he hoped the former president would “see the writing on the wall” and not run for the White House again. Whit Ayres, a top Republican establishment pollster snarkily told the AP that “It turns out that trying to overturn an election is not wildly popular with the American people.” At the annual Republican Governors Association conclave last night, Chris Christie, a former chair of the organization, was loudly applauded when he pointed out that “that there were 31 GOP governors when he left the role in 2014. There are now 26— five gone in eight years, all because Trump picks his candidates based purely on loyalty.” He said the RGA must engage in primaries to keep MAGA extremists and top Trump allies, like Doug Mastriano and Kari Lake, from getting nominated in the future.
All day today the anti-Trump sentiments kept flying. Pence was quoted by ABC News as saying their are “better choices” for president than Trump and that “The people of this country actually get along pretty well once you get out of politics, and I think they want to see their national leaders start to reflect that same compassion and generosity of spirit.”
Senator Cynthia Lummis, who represents the most backward MAGA state in the country, Wyoming, told Politico that “The question is: who is the current leader of the Republican Party? Oh, I know who it is: Ron DeSantis. Ron DeSantis is the leader of the Republican Party, whether he wants to be or not.” Party elected like Lummis know that Trump is a vindictive prick and by coming out against him, they are committing themselves to fight to defeat him— for their own safety.
Even Jared and Ivanka tried talking Trump out of running again— and failed. And he failed to talk them into joining him for his campaign announcement— and failed. A source told the New York Post that “They both feel they got burned in Washington and don’t want to go back and expose themselves and their children to another bitter campaign.”
So why is Trump bothering? Easy: bigger than pride for the loser, bigger than profit for the insatiably greedy and needy asshole is his terror of prison. Dennis Aftergut: “He’s scared witless at the possibility of prosecution. It seems likely that indictments are on their way from Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis (over Trump’s interference in the 2020 election in Georgia) and from Attorney General Merrick Garland (over Trump’s purloined national security secrets taken to Mar-a-Lago). By formally becoming a presidential candidate, Trump thinks he’ll get an edge on prosecutors. He craves his narrative: ‘Dems are trying to take down an announced Republican candidate for President. UNPRECEDENTED!’ Translation should be unnecessary: ‘I’m a martyr! Defend me! Go after them.’ Of course, it won’t matter to Fani Willis or the DOJ. He’s in their sights, and they’ll do what they do.”