Trump Reportedly Weighing Double Endorsements in Tight Senate Races: ‘I Get Two Chances to Win’
Former President Donald Trump is reportedly considering “diluting” his endorsement in 2022 midterm races in which he is feeling “penned in” by multiple advisers, Politico’s Playbook reported on Friday.
Playbook’s Tara Palmeri noted that Trump has “grown so distrustful” of his advisers and has become so wary of “conflicting advice” that he believes “dual endorsements would mean, ‘I get two chances to win.’”
“He isn’t clear about which advisers have significant personal or financial ties to the candidates they’re bending his ear about,” Palmeri further explains, reporting that Trump is “at times suspicious of the recommendations that people give him when he knows they’re being paid,” an adviser to the former president told her. “He’s been asking who is paying who.”
Palmeri broke down the dynamic in the Missouri Senate Republican primary as a clear example of Trump being pulled in multiple directions, she writes:
In the Missouri Senate race, Pam Bondi, who heads Trump’s super PAC, has advocated for her longtime friend, state A.G. Eric Schmitt. But Kellyanne Conway is advising Rep. Billy Long’s campaign, and Kimberly Guilfoyle serves as national chair of former Gov. Eric Greitens’ campaign.
Trump’s endorsement is seen in many states as the ticket to winning a Republican primary, but in some cases, like in Pennsylvania, it has already backfired for the former president.
Trump picked Sean Parnell in September last year as his candidate, despite lingering allegations of domestic abuse. Parnell eventually dropped out of the race in November after losing a contentious custody battle.
Palmeri reported that “Trump was already getting gun-shy about endorsements after feeling burned by several of his early nods.” She notes that Trump was pushed by his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to endorse Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) for senate in North Carolina and that Stephen Miller urged him to endorse Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) in the Alabama race – both of whom are now struggling in the polls.
Parnell’s endorsement came at the uring of Donald Trump Jr. and, as a result, Trump now faces an uncomfortable dynamic in Pennsylvania, as he is pulled in multiple directions:
In the Pennsylvania Senate race, former White House aide Dina Powell is pushing Trump to endorse her husband, hedge fund magnate David McCormick. But Sean Hannity is urging him to back celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz.
Palmeri explains a similar dynamic has emerged in states like Arizona and Ohio – both of which will be critical wins for Republicans to recapture the U.S. Senate in 2022.
Another key dynamic at play, Palmeri notes, is Trump’s ongoing feud with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Palmeri argues that Trump is unwilling to simply “sit out” some of these more contentious races and let McConnell choose the candidates – which would effectively cede power to the establishment Republican.
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