Former Allies Turn on Trump as GOP Prepares to Cast Off from MAGA Island into Uncharted Waters
Allies of former President Donald Trump are speaking out against him this week in the newest sign that the GOP
Allies of former President Donald Trump are speaking out against him this week in the newest sign that the GOP is readying to cut ties with the MAGA darling.
The former POTUS was once considered unassailable and untouchable, leading the GOP with an iron fist with no one in a position to challenge his supremacy.
But Trump’s brand of politics grew old, fast – exhausting the nation as voters lurched from one controversy to the next.
After Trump’s involvement appears to have caused an expected midterms red wave to turn into more of a disappointing trickle, the GOP is looking to new ways to shape the party’s future. And after a number of high-profile allies have slammed Trump this week, it’s clear that they’re close to ready to snip the MAGA apron strings and move on.
Erstwhile Allies Turn on Trump Over Meeting with Nick Fuentes
If mocking a disabled reporter wasn’t enough to turn allies away, or using slurs to describe immigrants, or bragging about sexual assault, or bragging about breaking the law, or any number of actions against traditional family values wasn’t enough to turn GOP allies away, why is it Nick Fuentes who finally broke the dam?
Over the weekend, Trump met with controversial rapper and once-and-future presidential candidate Kanye West (Ye – an open antisemite) at his Mar-a-Lago home, along with several others. Included among those others was Nick Fuentes.
Fuentes is an avowed white supremacist and Holocaust denier.
Backlash against Trump was swift.
The FPOTUS refused to condemn Fuentes and speak out against white supremacy, fearing to alienate part of his voter base and instead played ignorant. “I didn’t know Nick Fuentes,” he wrote on Truth Social.
While Republicans were slow to respond to the concept of their frontrunner meeting with a neo-Nazi, some of the former President’s once allies are now speaking out.
This week, former VP Mike Pence (who has been hesitant to criticize Trump and appeared to be making nice with him in recent days) blasted his former running mate, telling News Nation, “President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table. I think he should apologize for it, and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification.”
And former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “Anti-Semitism is a cancer. As Secretary, I fought to ban funding for anti-Semitic groups that pushed BDS.
We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry.”
Newsweek reports, “‘President Trump hosting racist antisemites for dinner encourages other racist antisemites,’ tweeted Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment trial. ‘These attitudes are immoral and should not be entertained. This is not the Republican Party.’
Without mentioning Trump, Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said ‘white supremacy, neo-Nazism, hate speech and bigotry are disgusting and do not have a home in the Republican Party.’
McDaniel was an early supporter of Trump and said there was large-scale voter fraud in the 2020 election. In November last year she said that Republicans “would lose” if Trump left the party.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told The New York Times that the incident was another example of ‘awful lack of judgment’ from Trump, which makes him an ‘untenable’ candidate for the GOP in 2024.”
Proof That the GOP is Shifting Away from the Awkward MAGA Hug
While some statements, such as McDaniel’s, are lukewarm at best, they would have been unthinkable a year or two ago.
There was a time when any Republican openly speaking against Trump would have been immediately shouted down by peers, and their career buried.
Such was the case with Republican Reps Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL) who both served on the House committee investigating January 6 and who were branded traitors and turncoats for holding Trump responsible for the insurrection attempt at the Capitol building by Trump supporters at his behest.
Cheney lost her 2022 re-election bid and will be out after January 1, while Kinzinger opted to retire on his own terms. The idea that they could forge a career in a Republican party dominated by MAGA bullies was unthinkable, but now there may be room for them in whatever the GOP carves out for the future.
After Trump’s involvement lost race after race in the midterms, the GOP had to quickly think on its feet and decide where to take the party in the future. Republicans speaking out against Trump’s association with Fuentes isn’t about Fuentes himself. After all, Trump has had multiple chances to disavow white supremacy and has chosen not to, during any of which opportunities Republicans could have spoken up.
But they didn’t.
Because the party wasn’t ready to lose the superstar power Trump brought to the polls with him.
Now, however, with Trump’s star waning, some of the more conservative elements in the Republican party see a chance to take the GOP back – and to let MAGA go.
They run the risk of splitting the party before 2024 if MAGA splinters off, but some in the GOP are starting to see the risk of losing the 2024 election as preferrable to another 4 years with Trump at the helm and the damage he has done to the Republican party.