Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” told his viewers that he would never be a Republican again after the party supported President Trump.
Daily Beast: “Conservative operatives and a super PAC with ties to infamous GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone are calling for Trump supporters to punish Republicans by sitting out Georgia’s crucial Senate runoffs or writing in Trump’s name instead.”
“And though their efforts remains on the party’s fringes, the trajectory of the movement has Republicans fearful that it could cost the GOP control of the Senate.”
Dan Pffeiffer: “The leading theory in Washington is cowardice. Most political observers believe that for the last four years Republicans remained silent about Trump’s chaotic incompetence and crass corruption out of trepidation. Whenever a Republican enables another Trump transgression, every liberal blue checkmark tweets ‘COWARD.’ The sense among reporters is that Republicans don’t like what Trump says or does, but if they speak up they will be tweeted out of the party.”
“This narrative is comforting because it implies that the Republican Party is not beyond repair — they are just cowards, not bad people. Here’s the problem: the events of the last few weeks make it crystal clear that this narrative is wrong. It is way too generous to the Republicans.”
“Cowards want to to do the right thing but are too afraid to do it. I do not believe the Republicans want to do the right thing and I do not believe they are concerned about the damage Trump is doing to our democracy. Ultimately what bothers them about Trump is not that he is a racist authoritarian. It’s that he is a clumsy, incompetent racist authoritarian. The Republican supplication to Trump’s whims — before and after the election — is not cowardice, it’s calculation.”
Former Gov. John Kasich told NPR that Republicans are “either in complete lockstep with Trump or they’re afraid of him.”
He added: “They’re afraid that they’ll be primaried or they’re afraid they’ll be severely criticized. And it’s a pretty remarkable situation.”
“President Trump has spent the three weeks since he lost the election savaging a pair of GOP governors for not backing his claims he was robbed,” Politico reports.
“Republicans are worried it’s just the start of what’s in store from the soon-to-be-ex-president.”
“Trump’s attacks on Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine — both of whom are up for reelection in 2022 — has led to broader concerns within the party that he will use his post-presidency to exact revenge on perceived enemies and insert himself into races in ways that are not helpful.”
Newsweek: GOP civil war, inspired by Trump, grips Georgia, threatens other states.
“As President Trump brazenly seeks to delay the certification of the election in hopes of overturning his defeat, he is also mounting a less high-profile but similarly audacious bid to keep control of the Republican National Committee even after he leaves office,” the New York Times reports.
“Ronna McDaniel, Mr. Trump’s handpicked chairwoman, has secured the president’s support for her re-election to another term in January, when the party is expected to gather for its winter meeting. But her intention to run with Mr. Trump’s blessing has incited a behind-the-scenes proxy battle, dividing Republicans between those who believe the national party should not be a political subsidiary of the outgoing president and others happy for Mr. Trump to remain in control of it.”
“I’m not terribly popular with my party in the state of Utah. But that consequence is nowhere near as great as the consequence of violating your own conscience.”
— Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune, on his criticisms of President Trump.
Jennifer Rubin: “Let us not dwell on the details. Or on the shamefulness of state bar authorities in failing to sanction such unprofessional conduct. Or on Giuliani’s hair dye that ran down from each sideburn. What is clear is that this is the level of sheer insanity and irrational propaganda that passes for Republican ‘thinking.’ Plainly, Giuliani is representing the president’s views, and because the vast majority of Republicans say Trump should be allowed to exhaust his legal claims, his performance has, in effect, been endorsed by Republican House and Senate leadership, much of right-wing media and the Republican National Committee.”
“There is no worse time for Georgia Republicans to be engulfed in a civil war. Their presidential candidate just narrowly lost the state, which has long been a conservative safe space, while two competitive runoff races are looming in January that could determine control of the U.S. Senate — and the direction of the country for the first part of this decade,” the New York Times reports.
“And yet the war has come, full of double-crossing, internecine accusations of lying and incompetence, and a bitter cleavage into factions over the question of how much fealty should be shown to President Trump — and the extent to which Republicans should amplify his false argument that the election in this fast-changing Southern state was stolen from him.”
Days before a coronavirus outbreak in the Minnesota Senate Republican caucus, the GOP held a large, in-person dinner party to celebrate their election results, Fox 9 Minneapolis reports.
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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told Axios that after the 2020 election Republicans need to rebrand their party as the champions of working-class voters and steer away from its traditional embrace of big business.
Rubio said he is leaving the door open for a 2024 presidential run — so his comments are some of the earliest signals of how the GOP contenders may try to acknowledge President Trump’s successes while finding their own path.
A round of layoffs at the Republican National Committee Monday blindsided staff, as President Trump continues his legal push to contest Joe Biden’s victory, CNN reports.
“Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle are making moves to expand their influence at the Republican National Committee,” CNN reports.
“Some sources say they may seek to take over the party structure themselves.”
GOP leaders and confidants of President Trump tell Axios “his legal fight to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory — which they admit is likely doomed — could last a month or more, possibly pushing the 2020 political wars toward Christmastime.”
“Most top Republicans have followed Trump’s orders not to accept the Biden victory, and to allow all legal options to be exhausted. That could mean weeks of drama — and, more importantly, distractions from the vital work of transitioning government for a change of power.”
“The Republican Party has seen George Wallace’s racist movement, Perot’s movement and a tea party movement, and they all faded when they lacked a leader or had a diminished leader. Is Trump going to be distracted and just throw rocks at the window? Will he be busy dealing with litigation he might face out of office? To keep something going, you need discipline.”
— GOP consultant Ed Rollins, quoted by the Washington Post, on the future of Trumpism.
Jonathan Bernstein notes that Republicans have lost the popular vote once again but the party’s problem is deeper than that.
“Republican presidents — Donald Trump and George W. Bush — have now spent almost all of their last nine consecutive years below 50% approval. Add George H.W. Bush’s final year, and that makes 10 of the last 13 Republican presidential years, with the only significant exception coming in the period after the Sept. 11 attacks (we can’t know for sure, but it seems likely that George W. Bush was heading underwater by then).”
“In other words: Whether or not Republicans have a popularity problem, they certainly seem to have a governing problem, one that at this point could be symbolized by Trump’s utter inability to deal with the pandemic, or by the party’s years-long attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act without having any alternative to offer. It is, of course, perhaps just the luck of events that dealt Republican presidents five of the last five recessions. And the Iraq War. And the coronavirus. But my suggestion to the party, if it has lost the presidency, is to spend some time trying to figure out why its presidents seem to have such a tough time in office.”