Right-wing host implores Trump not to screw up the Missouri Senate race for the GOP: ‘We'll lose that seat’
With conservative Republican Sen. Roy Blunt having decided against seeking reelection in Missouri’s 2022 U.S. Senate race, former President Donald Trump and his allies are hoping that the candidate who receives the GOP nomination will be as MAGA as possible — and former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens definitely qualifies as MAGA. But right-wing radio host/Washington Post columnist Hugh Hewitt is imploring Trump not to endorse the far-right Greitens.
Although much of the commentary in the Post’s opinion pages has been vehemently anti-Trump — from liberals like Eugene Robinson and Greg Sargent to Never Trump conservatives George Will, Max Boot and Kathleen Parker — Hewitt has been an ardent Trump supporter in his Post columns as well as on his radio show. However, Hewitt obviously believes that Trump will be making a huge mistake if he endorses Greitens over another Republican candidate in Missouri.
When Trump appeared on Hewitt’s radio show this week, the host implored him, “Please don’t, please don’t endorse Eric Greitens. That’s a nightmare, Mr. President. We’ll lose that seat. But that’s Hugh Hewitt’s opinion, not yours.”
Trump responded, “Well, that’s an interesting opinion, that’s true. He’s right now leading by quite a bit.”
Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, a Trump ally, has endorsed Greitens. Regardless, Hewitt maintained, “He will lose the seat. We will lose the seat.”
Missouri is a deep red state that Trump carried by 15% in the 2020 presidential election (compared to 6% in Texas) and by 19% in 2016. But even in a state as deeply Republican as Missouri, Greitens comes with a lot of baggage.
Greitens was charged with felony invasion of privacy and tampering with a computer in 2018, although the charges were dropped. And it was also in 2018 that Greitens, a former Democrat turned far-right Republican, resigned as governor because of sexual assault allegations.
Hewitt has previously criticized Greitens to his face on these grounds:
Hugh Hewitt to Eric Greitens: \n\n"You\u2019ll be Todd Akin 2.0... You were accused by a witness of half-rape." #mosenpic.twitter.com/tpdEAH1ON3— danny (@danny) 1616588805
Although Missouri is an uphill climb for Democrats in statewide races, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (now an MSNBC contributor) served two terms via Missouri before being voted out of office in 2018 and losing to now-Sen. Josh Hawley.
One of the things that gave McCaskill an advantage in Missouri’s 2012 U.S. Senate race was some controversial comments that her GOP opponent, Todd Akin, made about rape and abortion — and some Republicans, including Hewitt, fear that if Greitens receives the nomination, he will suffer the same fate as Akin.
Democrats presently hold a razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate, and Republicans could retake the Senate in 2022 if they are able to flip even one Democrat-held seat while maintaining all of the seats they presently hold.
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