On Monday's edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the panel discussed former President Donald Trump's efforts to influence primaries to oust Republicans he perceives as disloyal to him as he came off a rally in Michigan — and how he could ultimately blow the influence he currently enjoys in the party.
"To suggest his influence has diminished in the party would be willful ignorance," said analyst Vaughn Hillyard. "One week ago he was in Georgia, two weeks ago in South Carolina. But why these states? There's races he is interested in. In South Carolina, trying to take down Nancy Mace, Tom Rice. Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, Brian Kemp. Michigan, Peter Meijer, Fred Upton. These are part of what we call the 'Big 12'. These are the GOP incumbents Trump has backed primary challengers against here. Why is this significant? He's putting his own political capital on the line like we have never seen him willfully do. The only two times he has done this prior was in 2018 in the Mark Sanford race and in the Kris Kobach race, in which he backed primary challengers. What does it mean? Over the next four months I think we will get a good taste of just how potent his influence is."
Anchor Joe Scarborough agreed.
"This is the first time Trump's really put it out on the line," said Scarborough. "I always remember when he'd say something and get a spattering of boos from the crowd. He would immediately back up. But here he's going after people. For instance, Brian Kemp. He's doing extraordinarily well right now. I know it is still early. But you look at Liz Cheney, Liz is not concerned. She's just not concerned. She knows it is tough and tight. But he's taking — look at Fred Upton. I served with Fred. He knows how to win elections."
"And next May is that Georgia primary," added Hillyard. "There is another one, West Virginia next month. We may be having the conversation that Trump is throwing up L's and if he can't bat 0.500 over the next four months, Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis begin to stand up and get around, like, Joni Ernst, others begin to coalesce around somebody that is not Donald Trump."