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Title: As Trump leaves office weakened, Republicans wonder if his wounds are fatal
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URL Source: ... atal/ar-BB1cCZLC?ocid=msedgntp
Published: Jan 10, 2021
Author: Philip Rucker
Post Date: 2021-01-10 12:19:37 by BTP Holdings
Keywords: None
Views: 17

As Trump leaves office weakened, Republicans wonder if his wounds are fatal

by Philip Rucker January 10, 2020

Toomey: Senators Hawley, Cruz ‘will pay a very heavy price’ after electoral… Sen. Toomey: Trump has 'descended into a level of madness' The Washington Post logoAs Trump leaves office weakened, Republicans wonder if his wounds are fatal

Whether President Trump is forced from office or serves out the remaining days of his term, he is now destined to slink out of the White House considerably diminished from the strapping, fearsome force he and his advisers imagined he would be in his post- presidency.

a person standing next to a fence: People pass by the White House on Jan. 9, 2021. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)© Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post People pass by the White House on Jan. 9, 2021. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post) In the wake of the mob attack on the Capitol that Trump incited, some allies have abandoned him, many in the business community have shunned him and Twitter took away his social media megaphone. Many Republicans also hold him responsible for losing their Senate majority with last week’s twin defeats in Georgia, not to mention their House majority two years ago.

Trump had planned to retreat from Washington to plot a comeback that could return him to the White House in four years, but now he will have to contend with a possible second impeachment or perhaps even criminal charges.

With 10 days remaining in his presidency, Trump has become the political equivalent of a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade flying high down New York’s Sixth Avenue, only to be punctured, twist in the wind and deflate as it rounds the corner to the parade’s endpoint at Herald Square.

“The way he handled himself in the last 60 days has tarnished his reputation and his ability to be a future leader — and by botching the Georgia Senate races, his entire economic agenda is about to get overturned by the Senate,” longtime Republican strategist Scott Reed said. “He’s really gone backwards like no one ever would have imagined.”

a group of people on a motorcycle in front of a crowd: Trump supporters near the Capitol on Wednesday.© Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post Trump supporters near the Capitol on Wednesday. Despite Trump’s current troubles, he is sure to maintain a grass- roots following. In his statement Friday night reacting to Twitter’s extraordinary decision to permanently ban his account because the president’s messages posed a threat of future violence, Trump effectively laid claim to the 74.2 million “great American patriots” who voted for him in November.

Jason Miller, a senior political adviser to the president, said after speaking with Trump on Saturday that the president plans to spend tens of millions of dollars from his political action committee to help Republicans win back the House and Senate in 2022. He left open the possibility that Trump would run for president again in 2024.

“President Trump is still the biggest name in American politics and the president is still the leader of the Republican Party. He’ll be the most sought-after political endorsement heading into the 2022 midterms,” Miller said. He added: “You can’t censor an entire movement. This is critical to keep in mind for Beltway politicians and pundits who themselves have lost touch with Republican grass- roots activists around the country.”

Still, the new reality for Trump is messy. Frank Luntz, a veteran GOP pollster, conducted a focus group the night after the Capitol attack with 12 Trump voters from 11 different states. He said they fell into three camps: those who believe the fact that President- elect Joe Biden won the election and think it’s time Trump move on; those who think it was stolen from Trump but he still should move on; and those who think it was stolen and Trump should continue to fight.

Luntz was flabbergasted by the sharp, even angry tone of the discussion.

“They were very emotional with each other, very harsh with each other,” he said. “This has never happened in a Trump focus group I’ve done. . . . Trump voters are like single moms with kids. They back each other, they empathize with each other, because they know the stresses and strains they each have. Not anymore. These Trump voters are ready to declare war with each other.”

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