Donald Trump is once again injecting chaos and uncertainty into the Republican Party as he reportedly considers announcing a third consecutive campaign for the presidency.
"Republicans are bracing for Donald J. Trump to announce an unusually early bid for the White House, a move designed in part to shield the former president from a stream of damaging revelations emerging from investigations into his attempts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election," The New York Times reported. "While many Republicans would welcome Mr. Trump’s entry into the race, his move would also exacerbate persistent divisions over whether the former president is the party’s best hope to win back the White House. The party is also divided over whether his candidacy would be an unnecessary distraction from midterm elections or even a direct threat to democracy."
On Wednesday, Trump announced he would be traveling to Anchorage for a campaign rally against Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
The newspaper reported Trump as "accelerated his planning in recent weeks" and "aides are scrambling to build out basic campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement as early as this month."
The period between Independence Day and Labor Day is traditionally viewed as the slowest time in politics, with many reporters on vacation while voters enjoy their summers.
"That timing would be extraordinary — presidential candidates typically announce their candidacies in the year before the election — and could have immediate implications for Republicans seeking to take control of Congress in November. Mr. Trump’s presence as an active candidate would make it easier for Democrats to turn midterm races into a referendum on the former president, who since losing in 2020 has relentlessly spread lies about the legitimacy of the election. Some Republicans fear that would distract from pocketbook issues that have given their party a strong advantage in congressional races," the newspaper reported.
Former Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams worries Trump's ongoing fixation on lying about the election he lost to Joe Biden could hurt the party.
“Republicans want to win badly in 2022, and it is dawning on many of them that relitigating the 2020 election with Trump’s daily conspiracy diatribes are sure losers,” he told The Times.
The newspaper noted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is urging an early announcement.
"Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, had urged Mr. Trump to wait until after the midterms, worried that news about his campaign could derail the party’s midterm messaging," the newspaper reported. "One R.N.C. official noted that when Mr. Trump opened a campaign, the party would stop paying his legal bills related to an investigation by the New York attorney general. Still, Ms. McDaniel has recently resigned herself to the idea that he will announce before the elections, according to people familiar with the conversations."
Meanwhile, other Republicans appear to sense weakness from Trump.
"Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who told Mr. Trump last year that he wouldn’t compete against him for the presidential nomination, has continued to lay the groundwork for a 2024 bid. Mr. Pompeo has told others that he can beat Mr. Trump in the Iowa caucuses, according to people familiar with the conversations," the newspaper reported.
Read the full report.