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Donald Trump is on a mission. Some Republicans devoutly hope that mission includes helping the party win back a majority in the House and Senate.
Other Republicans aren’t so sure. They believe Trump’s agenda leans much more toward seeking revenge against GOP incumbents who voted against him during the recent impeachment.
Other Republicans believe he can do both and that the two missions are not at odds at all. But trying to defeat the 7 House members who voted to impeach the former president and the 7 senators who voted to convict him during the Senate trial — as well as a few other members who have displeased him — isn’t going to help during what’s shaping up already as a Republican election in 2022.
What most Republicans believe doesn’t concern Donald Trump. He has never been a “party man” and the act of primarying those who have displeased him is not because he hates Republicans. Donald Trump’s quest is highly personal. This makes him more dangerous to the party’s interests — especially for the election of 2022.
Trump made his first endorsement of a primary challenger facing off against a congressman who voted to impeach him in the House. We can expect a lot more of these endorsements to come.
Max Miller, a 32-year-old former White House adviser to Trump, began a campaign on Friday to challenge incumbent Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a former professional football player in his second term.
“Max Miller is a wonderful person who did a great job at the White House and will be a fantastic Congressman. He is a Marine Veteran, a son of Ohio, and a true PATRIOT,” Trump said in a statement on Friday. “Current Rep. Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th district because he does not represent their interest or their heart. Max Miller has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
Gonzalez, a former pro football player, did not announce his intentions before the impeachment vote but released a statement afterward. “When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the President’s lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment.”
Miller’s work in the White House and observing Trump firsthand obviously had an effect on him.
The people want steel-spined leaders that stand up to all who would take advantage of them – whether foreign adversaries, domestic profiteers, or anti-American ideologues. Max is running for Congress to stand up for the people of Ohio’s 16th District and represent their interests in Washington. Unbending and straightforward, Max Miller will be their champion.
Only a few of those 10 GOP incumbents who voted against Trump represent swing districts. The rest represent solid red districts that any Republican should be able to win easily.
As for the Senate, only Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski is on the ballot in 2022. There are already several prominent Republicans in the state talking about challenging her so Trump won’t have to reach very far to find someone to endorse.
Perhaps those Republicans who believe Trump will endorse candidates who represent the future of the Republican Party are right and the GOP will retake the House and Senate anyway. It would be unprecedented for so many incumbents to lose primaries and the challengers go on to win in the general election. At least some of those seats are going to flip, leaving the Republican Party scrambling to win enough seats to win the House and Senate.
It can be done. But Trump isn’t helping.