Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday morning, longtime Republican pollster Frank Luntz warned the Republican Party leadership that they need to do something to stop former President Donald Trump from announcing his plan to run again in 2024 if they have any hope of winning both chambers on Congress in November.
'We’re just waiting for him to die': GOP has no plan to derail Trump in 2024 | RawStory.TV'We’re just waiting for him to die': GOP has no plan to derail Trump in 2024 | RawStory.TV
Speaking with fill-in host Jonathan Lemire, Luntz also said he had some bad news for the former president based on recent polling and focus groups.
"We are starting to see Trump drop below the critical 50 percent mark in terms of who Republicans want to see as their nominee in 2024, and the constant, consistent rise of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis," he told the MSNBC host.
"What matters is New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa for the Republicans," he elaborated. "Ron DeSantis is rising in all the early states significantly, and there is even a survey that now has him ahead of Donald Trump in New Hampshire. Clearly, Republicans still see Trump as their most important political figure. His endorsement still matters as we saw in the Maryland governor's race, but when they're looking forward rather than looking back, more and more Republicans are saying, 'Enough. I don't want to focus on the past, I want to focus on the future. I don't want to focus on Donald Trump and an election that is now two years old."
"This is causing a significant problem for Trump," he continued. "I think it's the reason why he is more likely than not to announce in 2022 rather than wait until 2023."
Before host Lemire cut away to another guest, Luntz insisted on making a "final point."
"If he [Trump] does announce, he could actually cost the Republicans the House as well as the Senate," he bluntly stated. "If the election is about the economy, Republicans win both. If the election is about Donald Trump, Republicans lose both."
In his column for the Bulwark, former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller scorched the GOP for doing nothing to shed themselves of former President Donald Trump and instead just "humoring" him with the hope that he will go away.
As Miller notes, immediately after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election and ramped up his efforts to prove the election was stolen from him, an anonymous senior Republican official told the Washington Post, “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change,” before adding, “He went golfing this weekend. It’s not like he’s plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on Jan. 20. He’s tweeting about filing some lawsuits, those lawsuits will fail, then he’ll tweet some more about how the election was stolen, and then he’ll leave.”
As Miller wryly noted, that prediction didn't age well as almost two months later Trump's election fraud claims culminated in a riot at the Capitol following a "Stop the Steal" rally on the national mall.
According to the columnist, Republicans are still dithering when it comes to shoving Trump out into the wilderness, in part because they need his fundraising prowess and ability to get out the vote in some races
According to Miller, "in present-day Republican politics, that anonymous 'what’s the downside for humoring him' moron actually won the day. And not just that day, but today. Because despite how brutally and blatantly their strategy in managing Trump’s psychopathy failed, Senior Republican Officials (SROs) are still employing it."
"You see, back in November 2020, at least the SROs thought that there was an expiration date on their cowardice. They figured that, come January 20, 2021, Trump would be gone and they would no longer have to humor him. Today the strategy has been modified only in the removal of an expected end date," he wrote before noting a comment made by a former Republican lawmaker in Mark Leibovich's new book, "Thank You for Your Servitude."
As Leibovitch wrote, "A former Republican congressman told me recently that the party’s only real plan for dealing with Trump in 2024 involved a darkly divine intervention. 'We’re just waiting for him to die,' he said."
To which Miller added, "Instead they will soldier on. Playing the same big game of pretend with our democracy in the balance. After all, the downside for humoring him for just a little more time is likely to be felt by other people. And the upside of humoring? That accrues directly to the Republicans who want power," before darkly predicting, "But don’t worry. Eventually they’ll be able to tell the truth. Probably. As long as he’s the one who croaks first."