The 45th president seems to epitomize that old cliche: Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.”
On one hand he’s probably too divisive, too egomaniacal, too radioactive to ever win a national election again. In 2016 the political climate was perfect for him, as was the opposition. But the weather has changed and time has moved on.
On the other hand Republicans can’t win a national election without his support. If his acolytes stay home on election day that cuts Republican margins at least in half. That would make them non-electable in a lot of races, just not the presidency.
So Tom Emmer, the hero of the 2020 House races, has come up with a solution that a lot of us are also employing in conversations with Trumpist associates. Indirectly disdain the man, love his administration.
His tenure in office was a triumph in most areas. Trade, national security, the economy, all prospered when he was president. And they still might be prospering but for his inane bluster and rampaging id. Emmer and other Republicans are hoping voters can tell the difference between the man and his policies. If he runs and wins the nomination that gives them a way to support the resumption of his successes. If he doesn’t run or runs and loses, that gives them a way to show Trumpists they didn’t turn and run, completely. Either way, Trump has leverage. Lots of it.
🤔 Trump just threatened to have Republican voters stay home in 2022 and 2024 unless the party is able to "solve" (by which he seems to mean overturn) the result of the last presidential election, which he lost. pic.twitter.com/sHvXHrKZtH
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 13, 2021
FNC: “As Rep. Tom Emmer touted the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) robust third quarter fundraising figures, the House GOP reelection chair emphasized that ‘voters are ready to fire Nancy Pelosi and hold the failed Biden Administration accountable.’
The Minnesota Republican has repeatedly emphasized this year that Republican voters are energized to take back the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections, when the GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber to recapture the majority they lost in the 2018 midterms. Emmer made his latest comments on Wednesday as he took questions from reporters. But a day earlier, former President Trump predicted in a statement that ‘if we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ‘22 or ’24.’ ”
Trump’s statement comes as he continues to make unfounded claims that his 2020 election loss to now-President Biden was due to a ‘rigged’ election rampant with ‘massive voter fraud,’ and who’s pushing partisan election audits in states across the country.”
Asked about Trump’s comments, Emmer answered that “the former president, he’s a private citizen.. he of course, is entitled to his own opinion.” But then he reversed course. “We’re honored that the president is going to headline our fall dinner. He remains the biggest draw in our party. We’re happy he’s helping our efforts to fire Nancy Pelosi…We’re going to continue to highlight the polices of the Trump administration. They were incredibly popular and they continue to be incredibly popular.” Can’t win with him. Can’t win without him.