Republicans are panicking that they can't escape Trump
Donald Trump (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

Donald Trump's indictment in a Manhattan courtroom should have been a happy moment for potential challengers for the Republican Party 2024 presidential nomination, but instead it has knocked reporting on their fledgling campaigns out of the news and now they're in a panic.

According to a report from Politico, the wall-to-wall coverage of the former president's legal travails is "sucking all of the oxygen" out of the room, leading campaign consultants and conservatives who want Trump sidelined to believe the former president will ride his ability to dominate the headlines to a third GOP nomination.

As the report notes, "In the span of a week, Nikki Haley, former United Nations ambassador, campaigning at the U.S.-Mexico border, complained that 'no one is talking about' immigration because of the focus on Trump’s 'political drama.' Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Ukraine was reduced to a blip on the media landscape, while Ron DeSantis avoided the spectacle and instead revived his war with Disney."

The issue for them is Trump's ability to stay front and center as the face of the Republican party leaving no room for anyone else to be noticed except in relation to him.

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According to Terry Sullivan, who oversaw Marco Rubio's presidential bid, "This is deja vu all over again. Trump dominates media coverage, making it impossible for his competitors to get any coverage or forward traction.”

Another campaign consultant expressed their dismay, telling Politico, "It feels like f--king 2016. Is there anything that can suck up as much political oxygen in the American political landscape as Trump? I don’t think so."

The report adds, "To Republicans who saw Trump steamroll through the primary in 2016, it’s all beginning to look like a rerun. And largely helpless to do anything about Trump on their own, they have been venting frustrations increasingly at the media."

According to GOP campaign adviser David Kochel, "What’s frustrating to me is we didn’t learn a damn thing from 2015 and 2016 when it comes to just giving him absolute, roadblock media coverage. I get it, it’s a big story. But this was getting covered like … the opening of the war in Iraq or the O.J. chase. You couldn’t escape it.”

He grimly added, "I don’t know that there’s a strategy anybody could employ. Maybe try shooting somebody on Fifth Avenue.”

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