Former GOP Comms Director Rips ‘Republican Vanity Candidates,’ Tells Them to ‘Get the Hell Out of the Race’


Lincoln Project senior adviser and former Republican communications director Tara Setmayer tore into “vanity candidates” in the 2024 Republican primary on MSNBC, Wednesday.

“The Republican voters are not going to pivot that hard to someone else,” said Setmayer, in reference to primary frontrunner and former President Donald Trump.

“The only way that’s possible is if the Republican vanity candidates get the hell out of the race and they consolidate behind one person,” she argued, acknowledging however that she did not “know who that one person actually would be.”

Setmayer criticized both Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and suggested that neither man had “what it takes” to beat Trump in the primary:

It’s definitely not Ron DeSantis, we’ve already seen he has a glass political chin. His rollout has been a disaster. I’ve called him, you know, DudSantis because that rollout was terrible and he’s only trying to get his sea legs now up against Trump. But let’s be honest here, he does not have what it takes, and then when people start to examine Ron DeSantis’ policies, you want to scale up Florida? I don’t think so given the racism, the misogyny, and the bigotry there. So I just don’t see it. And Chris Christie, he can jump in the race all he wants and try to be, you know… commit political kamikaze, suicide like he did last time in 2016, but I don’t know where his path is. In a Monmouth poll recently, he was the only candidate that had a negative favorability. He was the only one underwater, by a lot, so good luck Chris Christie.

According to RealClearPolitics’ poll average, Trump is the clear frontrunner of the 2024 Republican primary at 53.2%, followed by DeSantis at 22.4%, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at 4.4%.

Former President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — who are both expected to launch their campaigns in the coming days — are polling at just 3.8% and 1% respectively.

Setmayer has previously called Haley a “token,” and has referred to Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) — another candidate in the 2024 Republican primary — as a “racial security blanket.”

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