Fox News and AM talk radio are full of GOP strategists and consultants who are happy to go on the air and recite pro-Trump talking points, but it’s often the anonymous quotes in outlets outside the right-wing bubble that offer insights on what Republicans are really thinking about President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Never Trump conservative Tim Miller interviewed nine different GOP consultants for a Rolling Stone article published this week, and they candidly discussed Trump’s chances of winning a second term.
“I’m sure some, if not most, Republican consultants and candidates snicker at Trump from time to time,” Miller writes. “In private. At the bar. Very quietly. Off the record.” But Miller also stressed that some of them showed “an emotional alliance with the president that is deeper than they might let on in mixed company.”
Some of the consultants admitted that unless things change between now and November, former Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn in as president in January 2021. According to one consultant, “Every shred of evidence points to a likely ass kicking in the fall” — and the consultant wasn’t referring to Biden. Another admitted, “Well, it’s as bad as it gets right now,” and one of the consultants told Miller, “I’ve got Trump down in Texas.”
Miller says of his conversation with the consultants, “What I found in their answers was one part Stockholm Syndrome, one part survival instinct. They all may not love the president, but most share his loathing for his enemies on the left, in the media, and the apostate Never Trump Republicans with a passion that engenders an alliance with the president, if not a kinship.”
Some of the consultants expressed intense anger for the Never Trump group The Lincoln Project, whose members have been asserting that a Biden victory is the only way to cleanse the GOP of Trumpism. One of them told Miller: “There’s no coming back for these Lincoln Project motherfuckers, it doesn’t matter what [is] next. They are madder at [Republican senators] than [at] Trump, for sure.”
However, some of the consultants admitted that Trump can be difficult to work with. One of them told Miller: “We haven’t worked for anybody who seriously thinks the guy has it all together.”
Another consultant acknowledged that a Trump loss could be profitable for some people in the GOP.
“If you actually think about this very selfishly…. if [Trump] loses, I make more money,” the consultant told Miller. “He loses, we go back to a semi-normal Republican Party that leans more populist than I think a lot of people would like. We get to run all these challenger races and probably take back the House in two years.”