Even if former president Donald Trump tries to win back the White House in 2024, he won't be the main issue on the ballot, according to former GOP strategist and Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt.
"This next election is going to be different from the last election, regardless of whether Trump is on the ballot or not," Schmidt told MSNBC on Tuesday night. "In 2020, I believe that Donald Trump was the issue in the election. He was the first 25 million issues in it. Even if he's on the ballot in 2024, he's not the issue in the election. The issue is us, the American people, the American nation. What type of society do we want to live in? Do we want this?"
Schmidt went on to say that 2024 won't be a referendum on Trump in part because there's simply nothing new to learn about him.
"There's no new lie," he said. "There's no new piece of demagoguery. There's no new racial incitement, racial animus, act of cruelty, degradation, sick attack, that's going to illuminate, provide any new information at any level about this guy."
He added that the ongoing threats to American democracy are "in plain view."
"And unless and until we start to see a societal consensus around demanding accountability on these issues ... these threats will grow," he said, adding that the question is no longer whether democracy is under attack.
"I think the question is going to become: How high is the cost going to be ultimately to stop this movement, which is contrary to every idea, every ideal, that every American patriot who's ever sacrificed for this country has believed in."
.@SteveSchmidtSES: Even if Trump is on the ballot in 2024, "he's not the issue in the election. The issue is us. The American people. ... Do we want this? Because there's nothing new to learn about Donald Trump."\n\n#LastWordpic.twitter.com/UkVSGSBivI— The Last Word (@The Last Word) 1640143907