‘Teflon president’: GOP backs Trump after indictment threat

Date:

'Teflon president': GOP backs Trump after indictment threat

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Sunday, March 19, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Seeing an opportunity, the Trump team started to use the coming indictment as a test for the other candidates: either support the former president, they said, or risk being branded a leftist sympathizer.

  • Whit Ayres, a renowned Republican pollster, predicted that Republicans would first support Trump in this situation. “

  • Pence, the most prominent 2024 Republican critic of Trump in recent months, chose not to lash out on Saturday.

  • And the first rally of his 2024 campaign on Saturday in Waco, Texas, it’s likely that Trump is overplaying his hand. ‘

  • He claimed that even if an indictment strengthens Trump’s support, it will not impact the GOP in the general election.

Seeing an opportunity, the Trump team started to use the coming indictment as a test for the other candidates: either support the former president, they said, or risk being branded a leftist sympathizer.

Even Trump’s Republican opponents started to realize what was happening.

Trump’s longtime foe Michael Brodkorb declared, “He’s become the new Teflon president.” Brodkorb was a former deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party. He is someone who has based his entire political career on playing the martyr and perpetual victim, and this is simply another illustration.

Over the length of the Trump period, Trump has worked on spinning one seemingly disqualifying incident after another into his favour. He has struggled and succeeded at times (the Access Hollywood tape was not the death blow everyone anticipated it to be) (the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, remains unkind mainly). He has prevailed in each instance.

Even though the timing is currently ideal for him, the anticipated upcoming indictment will put it to the test once more. The early phases of the presidential primary will once again centre on him if he is arrested this week, just as Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and several other prominent Republicans are considering beginning their bids.

Bruce Cherry, chair of the Seminole County Republican executive committee in Florida, declared that the “best possible ticket this country could have” would be Trump as the presidential nominee and DeSantis as his running mate. “It seems very evident that the left is trying everything they can to discredit former President Donald Trump,” Cherry said. “In my opinion, the indictment means nothing.”

Republicans claim that, if anything, Trump will gain from a sudden surge in popularity, much like he did after the FBI seized records from his Mar-a-Lago residence last year. It might not appear in national surveys, where Democratic and independent voters will be reminded of the drama and controversies that always seem to accompany Trump. But, a national GOP consultant who was given anonymity to discuss the political repercussions claimed that the former president would probably benefit immediately from fundraising in an otherwise hostile political atmosphere.

Small-dollar contributors are declining, this individual claimed. They will be motivated by it. That there is a witch hunt is evidence.

In right-wing social media forums over the weekend, some Trump supporters debated the advantages of violent vs nonviolent protest, casually contemplating a trucker strike or a bank run while others warned of a deep state “trap.” Contrary to the legal issues that Trump is facing in Fulton County, Georgia, and in a special counsel investigation that began around January 6, the lawsuit in New York is being brought by a district attorney in Manhattan, which many Republicans consider the hub of the left’s excesses.

Whit Ayres, a renowned Republican pollster, predicted that Republicans would first support Trump in this situation. “In the long run, it depends on how this case and the other criminal investigations turn out.”

According to Ayres, it’s likely that primary voters who are at least receptive to other Republican presidential contenders will view Trump as having too much “baggage” if he ends up being indicted on several counts. But no one can predict how it will all turn out. It hasn’t occurred before, after all.

Ayres claimed, “I have never researched the indictment of a former president and top presidential candidate, and I have never conducted any polling on the matter.

Several Trump detractors are concerned that if the evidence against him turns out to be insufficient, it will give him more confidence. “Bullshit Dem crusades support Trump in his primary, which, if he wins, benefits Dems by bringing the weakest GOP candidate to the general,” said former representative Peter Meijer of Michigan, who lost his primary last year after voting to impeach Trump over his role in the January 6 riot.

Pence, the most prominent 2024 Republican critic of Trump in recent months, chose not to lash out on Saturday. He told reporters while running for office in Iowa at a Bastion Institute foreign policy forum: “No one is above the law. I have faith that President Trump can care for himself.

Yet, in private, Pence’s friends have argued that Trump will probably be the target of additional indictments for his attempts to rig the 2020 election.

“He’s trying to straddle a fairly fine fence line,” Mike Murphy, a former Indiana Republican state representative close to Pence, said of the former vice president’s statements. He’s attempting to distance himself from Trump. He knows that if this occurs on Tuesday, the Republican base will go bonkers. He must convey sympathy for their worries without demonstrating compassion for Trump. Atlanta is home to the more potentially severe indictment. On that one, he will make it abundantly evident that right is right and wrong is wrong.

With his demand to “Protest, take our nation back!” and the first rally of his 2024 campaign on Saturday in Waco, Texas, it’s likely that Trump is overplaying his hand. ‘It’ll demonstrate that the Trump movement is sputtering,’ said a seasoned Republican strategist who was given anonymity to explore the dynamics of the 2024 campaign if protests do not occur or if crowd sizes are small.

It’s also feasible that Republicans concerned about electability may view Trump’s indictment as untenable in a general election following Trump’s defeat in 2020 and a poor midterm.

The cumulative effect of these legal efforts, according to Dick Wadhams, a former Colorado Republican Party chair and lifelong party strategist, directly undermines his potential to win a general election. “At some point, some of his supporters will recognize that,” he added. The prospect that these legal actions will likely sidetrack him during the entire campaign may begin to dawn on him.

Nevertheless, the biggest concern for some Republicans is that an indictment could seriously harm Trump and the GOP when they need to re-engage independents and moderate Republicans who defected in 2020. Pictures of a former president under investigation or the protests it causes may serve as painful reminders of his time in office.

Mike Madrid, a Republican strategist and co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, claimed that while it helped him in the Republican primary, he would have won it regardless.

He claimed that even if an indictment strengthens Trump’s support, it will not impact the GOP in the general election.

Madrid asserted that the strength of a declining base was not a sign of a movement gaining ground. It is an indication that a dwarf star is imploding.

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