Why the GOP's 'ludicrous' efforts to 'create a new Donald Trump' for 2024 are doomed to fail: consultant
Some right-wing pundits who supported former President Donald Trump in the past, including firebrand author Ann Coulter, are arguing that he has become a liability for the GOP and are urging fellow Republicans to rally around Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a 2024 presidential candidate. But others believe that because Trump continues to excite so much of their base, he could be a strong candidate in 2024 if only he would be willing to exercise some self-discipline, quit saying so many inflammatory things and spend less time raging against all the people he believes have either let him down or persecuted him in some way.
But in an op-ed published by The Hill on January 3, political consultant Kevin Naughton (who co-founded the firm Silent Majority Strategies) argues that any GOP strategist who is hoping to “create a new Trump” is living in a fantasy world.
“It’s been a constant theme for Donald Trump’s backers: Trump just needs to be more disciplined, be more professional, think ahead, be positive, etc. etc.,” Naughton explains. “In other words, if Trump wasn’t Trump, he would be unbeatable. But Trump is not going to change, ever. And it’s the main reason why his comeback, while not impossible, is highly improbable.”
The consultant continues, “Still, his acolytes and even his campaign team are vainly trying to create a ‘new’ Trump. Mark Lewis in Townhall offered an 8-point plan, the first four points of which included adopting a lower profile for a few months, stop talking about the 2020 presidential election, talk less about himself, and stop berating Republicans he doesn’t like. While that is sage advice, Lewis might as well advise Trump to stop breathing.”
Naughton notes that Lewis, in the conservative Townhall, argued that Trump needed to “show some humanity, compassion, humility, wisdom, fortitude and positiveness.”
“I figured that Mr. Lewis must be trying to turn Townhall into National Lampoon,” Naughton writes. “The idea that Trump will stop raging at his enemies, real and perceived, is ludicrous. He can’t even take off for Christmas. Trump has not let a week go by without complaining about losing in 2020.”
Naughton cites President Richard Nixon as an example of a Republican politician who was able to “reinvent himself,” stressing that Nixon had something that Trump lacks: self-discipline.
“Richard Nixon, a man left for dead after his disastrous 1962 loss in the California gubernatorial election, managed to reinvent himself in 1968,” Naughton recalls. “‘New Nixon’ finished off his transformation by becoming the 37th president. For Nixon, it was a patient five-year effort by a supremely disciplined, intelligent, experienced politician. Nearly two years into his own comeback, Trump has proven that he lacks any of Nixon’s qualities. ‘New Trump’ is just old Trump and always will be old Trump.”
- Donald Trump says Trump Organization criminal probes are a 'witch hunt' and a 'scam' ›
- Donald Trump declares war on Ron DeSantis as Fox News crowns him king of the Republican Party ›
- Ron DeSantis dodges questions about 2024 'Republican civil war' with Donald Trump ›