These Republicans are unsuccessfully trying to prevent a 2024 Trump campaign — without much luck so far
Republicans who are hoping to God that Donald Trump won’t be the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee aren’t necessarily outspoken Trump critics like Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both of whom voted to impeach him in 2021 and are part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 select committee. Others, according to Vanity Fair columnist Bess Levin, are discreetly anti-Trump and working against him behind the scenes. But the journalist, in her Valentine’s Day 2022 column, laments that so far, they aren’t having much luck.
Levin writes, “There are approximately 1 million reasons why the words ‘Donald Trump has won the 2024 election’ should send shivers down people’s spines…. Unfortunately, many members of the Republican Party have no interest in stopping Trump, either because they’re absolutely terrified of experiencing his wrath, or they think he’s the greatest thing that ever happened to the United States and have already pledged their undying loyalty to him. Which makes a New York Times report, one stating that a group of politicians led by Mitch McConnell is trying to cut Trump off at the knees, a hopeful development.”
Senate Minority Leader McConnell isn’t known for being an outspoken long-time Never Trumper like attorney George Conway, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson or Washington Post columnists George Will and Max Boot — all of whom are scathing Trump critics on the right and openly rooted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. McConnell doesn’t go out of his way to publicly criticize Trump, but it is obvious that there is very bad blood between Trump and the Kentucky senator.
Levin, however, is skeptical about McConnell’s ability to derail a 2024 Trump campaign.
“Would we like to believe that McConnell will be successful here? Of course we would,” Levin writes. “We’d also like to believe that climate change isn’t ultimately going to turn the earth into an uninhabitable hellhole, or that one day we’ll see a trio of people panhandling on the subway and on further inspection realize they’re Trump’s eldest children. Unfortunately, neither of those things looks like it’s actually going to pan out, and nor does McConnell’s plan.”
Levin goes on to offer some examples of Trump’s stranglehold on the GOP, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina saying that the Republican presidential nomination is “Trump’s for the taking in 2024 if he wants” it. And Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Levin notes, posted a “cringeworthy” video of herself praising Trump outside of Trump Tower in New York City only a day before he endorsed her congressional primary opponent and called her an “absolutely terrible candidate.”
I\u2019m standing in front of Trump Tower with a message this morning\u2026\n\n#SC01 #LowcountryFirstpic.twitter.com/CpmMYA63qt— Nancy Mace (@Nancy Mace) 1644510098
Sen. Graham tells @GStephanopoulos that former Pres. Trump \u201chas a great chance" of being elected again in 2024, but warns that \u201cif he continues to talk about the 2020 election, I think it hurts his cause and, quite frankly, it hurts the Republican Party.\u201d https://abcn.ws/3gIxpwZ\u00a0pic.twitter.com/C7eKpcXsCV— This Week (@This Week) 1644768296
“Of course, there’s an alternate scenario in which Trump is actually held accountable for his cornucopia of alleged crimes, from fraudulent business practices to inciting an insurrection, and is unable to run for office because he’s in prison,” Levin writes. “In a heartening interview with Salon, Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee investigating January 6, said Trump is ‘guilty as sin’ and ‘a one-man crime wave,’ but will ultimately ‘get his comeuppance.’ Which would obviously be great, but it would be nice if we didn’t have to count on it to keep him out of the White House.”
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