Donald Trump puts his foot in his mouth again: In my own GOP circle of colleagues I have known and trusted for years – the shock and outrage over Donald Trump’s comments that evangelical Christians, what might be his most loyal group of supporters, were somehow disloyal – is reaching a fever pitch.
This time, and yes, I know Donald Trump makes a lot of crazy comments, but the mood feels a little different.
The anger feels a little more real.
Indeed, most in the GOP I know are quite angry and not afraid to let it be known, although at least for now, on background, as they still fear, and rightly so, that Donald Trump can still win the 2024 GOP nomination for president.
He could end their chances of getting any sort of senior positions in local, state, or federal government or GOP politics. And, even with him, if he does take the Oval Office in 2024.
That seems really, well, D.C., if you will, but that is the nature of GOP politics these days. They don’t call it the swamp for nothing, folks.
Here is a sample of what people would tell mone background.
Donald Trump, RIP for 2024 White House Run?
A former GOP staffer who worked in the National Security Council for Donald Trump offered to me that: “What Trump said was flat out wrong. And it could very well be the end of his political career, to be frank. Trump 2024, RIP? It could be possible this time. And he has only himself to blame.
Evangelicals are a very, very loyal group to Donald Trump. They overlooked all of his personal issues, divorces, comments about women, and attacks on patriots like John McCain and gave the man a chance.
He blew it.
Now what happens is not clear. They could just sweep it under the rug, but this time I am not so sure. People in the GOP are angry. Even some hardcore MAGA supports are not pleased.”
Another comment, this time from a top foreign policy official who worked for Mitt Romney’s campaign, was even blunter:
“What has Donald Trump done now?
Can’t this man ever close that trap of his? I mean, come on, he needs Christians to come to the polls in massive numbers to vote for him if he thinks he can beat a surging Ron DeSantis.
What does he do if they decide Trump is not worth it and decide to go in another direction? He needs to make these people love him, show them he is in their camp – not try to alienate them.
What a fool.”
Lastly, a comment from a prominent GOP pollster who advises past Congressional candidates and current members: “Donald Trump does not think when he speaks.
And, at some point, he has to pay the price for what he says.
While I am not sure that day is here yet, I see many more Republicans speaking up about these sad comments and taking a stand.
I just only hope it happens before Donald Trump wins the nomination in 2024 – and I think right now he would.”
About the author: Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.