Republican strategist Karl Rove says that, despite Donald Trump currently being the favorite to win the nomination, Republicans must move past him if they want to take the presidency in 2024.
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Thursday he said, "His rambling, hour-long mid-November announcement was widely panned. There have been few endorsements and no trademark rallies. He’s trailing Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida and New Hampshire polls and is having fundraising difficulties. All this leaves an impression of—dare we say—low energy," Rove writes.
Many of Trump's strengths are still intact, like his huge and dedicated following. But, according to Rove, there's a downside to his strengths. "He’s well-known, sure, but also overexposed. His shtick is old, his speeches boring. More and more Republicans want to turn the page: Only 31% in the Dec. 11 USA Today/Suffolk University poll wanted him to run again."
Rove goes on to write that in 2016, Trump looked strong when he was attacking his opponents because he was the outsider going up against seasoned politicians. But now as a former president, when he attacks his opponents, he looks like he's "punching down."
"It was a mistake to launch assaults against two prospective opponents, Mr. DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley," Rove writes. "Objects of his scorn should ignore the gibes unless they see a great opportunity for political jiu jitsu. Mr. DeSantis pulled off a particularly effective take down when Mr. Trump attacked his Covid record, saying Floridians must approve of it since they re-elected him by a massive 19 points. The subtext: Donald Trump is a loser."
Ultimately, if Republicans want to win in 2024, "they must find a way around him."
Read the full op-ed over at the Wall Street Journal.