Mistakes were made, it's time to move on -- from Trump.
He's made too many of them.
What would Donald Trump say about a party leader who led his party to two successive electoral defeats and, in a third election cycle, caused his party to suffer more disappointment?
We don’t have to guess. Trump accused Mitt Romney of “choking” his bid for the presidency. Romney lost to a far more formidable opponent than Joe Biden.
Trump, by his own standards, is a choke artist.
Trump choked the 2018 elections by needlessly alienating suburbanites and swing voters with his over-the-top rhetoric. He choked the pandemic, which led to him losing the 2020 election. He choked the Georgia portions of that election, including the two winnable Senate races the GOP lost.
I’m old enough to remember when normal candidates, unencumbered by Trump, won Georgia statewide races. In fact, it happened yesterday.
Speaking of yesterday, Trump choked his candidate endorsements this year. Once again, he caused the GOP to lose winnable races in a year when the table was set for major Republican gains.
It’s not second-guessing to complain now about the Trump-endorsed candidates who underperformed in key Senate races. Conservatives not blinded by Trump, or made fearful by him, complained about candidates like Herschel Walker and Dr. Oz months ago. (Reportedly, Trump now blames his wife for the Oz endorsement.) Blake Masters and Don Bolduc also belong on the list, along with some key gubernatorial and House candidates.
Erick Erickson sums up the situation this way:
GOP, You Must Be Done With Trump.
This has to be a key takeaway.
Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, and Brian Kemp all did very well. They did well as their own men in their own right.
The voters thoroughly rejected trump-backed candidates.
Bo Hines, the young man in North Carolina who Trump backed, got beaten in a Republican district drawn for a Republican to win. Kari Lake, whose campaign actually impressed me in Arizona, may not pull through now.
In Pennsylvania, it is undisputed that Trump’s endorsement of Mehmet Oz pushed Oz across the finish line in the primary, and Pennsylvania would rather Fetterman than Oz. Trump really owns that one.
The pattern is too noticeable. Trump-backed candidates were very, very weak and many of them lost.
Traditional Republican candidates won. The GOP could have done much better had it picked better candidates. Candidate quality matters, and Trump picked bad candidates.
If Republicans pick Trump in 2024, they will pick a bad candidate. And they will have themselves to blame if they lose.