Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and former President Donald Trump exchanged barbs this week as their feud deepened. But some GOP strategists have realized that Trump may just be in it for himself, the Associated Press reported.
The conversation for the last several years from analysts has been about Trump's selfishness, as the Milwaukee Independent described it, or his constant need for self-promotion, as biographer David Cay Johnston explained.
Leading GOP strategists described the exploding feud between the former Republican president and the Senate's most powerful Republican as, at best, a distraction and, at worst, a direct threat to the party's path to the House and Senate majorities in next year's midterms.
"I don't think he cares about winning," Steven Law, a McConnell ally who leads the most powerful Republican-aligned super PAC in Washington, said of Trump. "He just wants it to be about himself."
He noted that Trump lost several states where Republicans have "must-win Senate elections" in 2022 like Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. They also have races in Nevada and New Hampshire where Trump lost and North Carolina where Trump narrowly eeked out a win.
If Trump attempts to make himself "the center of attention, that actually could cost Republicans seats in the general election," said Law.
In a discussion Tuesday evening, however, Republican strategist Amanda Carpenter explained that unless Republicans intend to fight back against Trump's election lies, then they'll ultimately end up caving into old patterns.
"Yes, I want people to fight Trump and Trumpism, but we need to be very clear about what we're fighting," she explained. "The substance of Donald Trump's long release today was not about calling Mitch McConnell nasty names. He was setting up a litmus test for the 2022 primaries which revolves around the big election lie. He's laying the groundwork now, and I guarantee you, that will be the litmus test for Trump's support in 2022. Who won the election? Donald Trump? Was it a fair election or was it rigged?"