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November 11, 2022

As all the postmortems of the midterm elections roll in, one narrative that’s rising to the top is that many Republicans who were Trump supporters are now starting to see DeSantis as the Party’s future and Trump as an anchor. Blogger Don Surber sums up the case well that even though we Trump supporters know most of the accusations hurled against him were false, manufactured and libelous, they worked to made his name toxic with millions of voters, especially Independents who never be convinced to vote for Trump or anyone aligned with him.

Surber points out that while Trump-backed candidates in red states and districts did well, those in swing states polled well below other Republicans, suggesting that if Trump ran for President, he would not be able to carry those states, even if he won them before. The betting markets seem to agree, as DeSantis has leaped into the #1 spot as most likely President in 2024 (29.7% odds) with Trump falling to second (17.6%.) You’ll be relieved to know that AOC is at 0.6%.

Trump also hasn’t helped his own case by continuing to focus on the 2020 election (which I agree was unfair and a travesty and has yet to be really investigated, but it’s over) instead of the future, and by attacking other Republicans against whom he holds grudges. As great a President as some of us think he was, it takes a strong team to win the Presidency, and you don’t win by tackling your own teammates.

When I ran for President in 2016, Trump was my primary opponent. I refused to let debate moderators goad me into attacking him (and they tried.) I told them that every person on that stage would be a better President than anyone the Democrats nominated, and I think history bore me out.

After Trump won the nomination, I didn’t sit around sucking on sour grapes. I thought about how I could help restore American strength and values outside of the political realm. I also joined wholeheartedly in helping Trump’s campaign. When he became President, I continued to defend him against a barrage of false and unfair charges, although I did criticize him when I felt it was warranted.

Now, I fear, is one of those times. Maybe it’s possible for Trump to somehow overcome the huge resistance against him among Independents, but he’s not going to do that by alienating Republicans, too. As much as I would love to see Trump make a comeback in 2024, he needs to remember that making America great again -- returning power from Washington to the people, draining the Swamp, and restoring Constitutional rights, military strength and the rule of law -- is a popular movement, it’s not a cult of personality. It’s bigger than any one person. I know he loves America, and that’s why he gave up so much to run for President.

If he cares about Making America Great Again as much as I think he does, I hope he will reflect seriously on what’s the best way to accomplish that, if what he’s doing now is really helping, and whether he can make his greatest contribution by leading the parade or cheering it on from the sidelines.

Related: Trump’s former Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany agrees that Trump should put any announcements about his 2024 plans on hold until after the Georgia Senate run-off. There’s no point in stirring up a lot of animosity and side issues that might impact an election as important as that. This would be a good way to show Republicans that he can prioritize the GOP winning the Senate over his own political plans.

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Comments 1-10 of 17

  • Donald K Rowland

    11/14/2022 04:35 PM

    Why is there still a Black Caucus ?? Sounds racist to me ! If we had a White Caucus they would be all over us !

  • Jim Dick

    11/14/2022 10:20 AM

    Please encourage President Trump to:
    1) Delay any announcement re 2024
    2) Go to Georgia with DeSantis and Youngkin to encourage the election of Walker to the US Senate
    3) Cease calling anyone and everyone by schoolyard "labels", please
    4) Stop whining about the 2020 election once and for all

  • Hilda

    11/14/2022 12:14 AM

    Trump for president and deSantiago for vice president would be a winning ticket. Then deSantis for president for two terms. He could learn from Trump..

  • R Reedy

    11/13/2022 11:42 PM

    What is “ballot harvesting” and what effect does it have on “Secret Ballot Voting”? Does it, or can it, evade the secrecy of the ballot, and thereby create an intimidating voting environment? Voting has changed dramatically after the onset of COVID.

  • Rosemarie Mitchell

    11/13/2022 07:20 PM

    Again, most of the Media , including Foxnews and you will not admit what you truthfully can see or at least listen to Mike Lindell's proof of LIVE actual Ciber election fraud which they were ready to watch and record. Fetterman had a sudden Rise on the web very clearly fraud. Why did the States vote for Republicans and not Federal elections? Why is it still taking so long for the longer it takes the more fraud is possible. The Democrats know about DiSouza's "2000 Mules" where vieos show Ballots being put in boxes 2AM, etc. Please watch "2000 Mules". Many Democrats are avoiding forgetful Biden and also fed up with the open border so why would they vote for more "Woke"? We need all media to allow Mike Lindell to show his evidence and end this destructive Administration. Now , at least the Republican leaders must use the 25th Amendment to remove this defective president now. Please use your platform to pressure them to remove Biden ASAP. I pray this country asks Jesus to save us by guiding our leaders to close the border. too.

  • Linda Ward

    11/13/2022 06:29 PM

    From your article: "Given what Trump has been put through by his political enemies ever since he first announced he was running for President, it’s amazing he came through it in one piece. He is still standing after attempts on every front to destroy him, and we love him for that. But he needs to demonstrate for us that the saying, “What does not kill us makes us stronger,” is true in his case. (Research has shown that this is not generally true.) Trump needs to be stronger, not flailing. Wiser, not more emotional. More strategic, not more impulsive. If he has been weakened, if he is now more of a political liability, he’ll need to understand that it’s time to embark on another phase of life, outside of politics, for the good of the country he loves." Unfortunately, this man is NOT TRUMP! He cannot be anything else than what he is! He has learned nothing from the past and only continues to give people reasons to dislike him and bring out the worst in people, most especially himself! Instead of celebrating the value and competence of the next generation of leaders, he returns to his petty name calling insults that are the things I hate most about him. I'll NEVER vote for him again! I won't vote for Biden either, just won't vote for either if they are the only contenders. Lord God, please give us better choices!

  • Shelley West

    11/13/2022 05:56 PM

    Dear Governor, I agree with your comments about President Trump for the most part. I do think he should not announce at this time. Wait until after the 1st of the year. Love him but he does need to tone down about his possible opponents. A break would benefit. I disagree about the 2020 election though. Nothing was done and the same playbook is being run again in AZ. I fear Kari Lake will just lose her election along with those down ballot. I wish I was smart enough to know what can be done.

  • Laura Shuyler

    11/13/2022 05:02 PM

    Donald Trump is a ship wreck, attacking other Republicans. Anyone who does not agree with him is subject to his unfair attacks. He even attacks dead people instead of just letting bygones be bygones. He should be a unifier not a divider. He gets an "F" in this. Even if he would calm down or stop his rhetoric I feel it would just be a temporary measure to secure the nomination and election. It would all start again. Personally, I do not think he is electable. I know a lot of people who voted Trump twice and many of them are done with his mouth and Twitter finger. We will not vote for him again. We want an electable candidate. He cannot win. Another point is his age. I do not want a president who will be his age at election time and four years later. Age is his enemy.

  • Floyd Unger

    11/13/2022 04:23 PM

    He did so much and sadly we are abandoning him.

  • Judy Williams

    11/12/2022 04:34 PM

    If Mr. Trump chooses to announce his candidacy for President as he had originally planned before the Georgia run-off has been held, everyone will know for certain that he is not interested in doing what’s best for the country or for the Republican Party. We shall see.