According to a report from the Washington Post, close aides to Donald Trump, as well as high ranking Republican Party insiders are doing all they can to discourage the former president from hastily making endorsements of Republicans with an eye on the 2022 midterms believing they could come back to haunt the party looking to regain power in Congress.
Trump is scheduled to head up a rally in Ohio on Saturday, and the Post is reporting that his aides seem to have convinced him to withhold his endorsement for a seat opening in the U.S. Senate. Of great concern to some, is the possibility that the ex-president will pick candidates who will flop at the polls and cost the GOP their shot at holding onto a seat they can ill afford to lose.
"His endorsement is the hottest ticket in Republican primary politics in many states, strategists say. But some around him and in senior positions in the party want Trump to give sparingly, fearful that losses and a diminished brand could backfire by allowing Democrats to maintain control of the House and Senate and weaken his standing before the next presidential contest," the report states, adding, "In Ohio, advisers have worked to dissuade Trump from endorsing a candidate in a GOP Senate primary, which includes former state GOP party chair Jane Timken, even after he summoned the candidates backstage to a private meeting at his Florida club."
"If you endorse some of these people, and they lose, it will look bad on you," one of his advisers reportedly told the ex-president.
According to the report, Trump's endorsements have little to do with policy and are instead based on the prospective candidate's loyalty to him.
"Candidates are now vetted for their previous comments about Trump and what they have said on social media. The former president is given the same slide deck on endorsements that he was given in the White House, which featured a candidate's polling standing, biographical details and other top-line indicators," the Post is reporting. "Trump's endorsement calculation, according to three advisers, usually comes down to his impression of how loyal they've been to him, what they've said about him in the past, whether the candidate is running against someone he despises and whether the candidate can win."
Adding to that are worries among Republican campaign consultants that a bevy of Trump-endorsed candidates will make the 2022 midterms about the president who just lost the White House and the Senate in 2020.
"The midterms in my opinion are very simple. If they are about Trump, we lose," explained a Republican consultant who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "If they are about Democratic overreach, we win."
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