I spent a lot of time reporting on the GOP ‘autopsy’ years ago. Ain’t gonna happen. https://t.co/Iol4FE6G7b— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) November 9, 2022
On March 4, 2016 Politico's Kyle Cheney wrote
Reeling from a second straight loss to Barack Obama, a flailing Republican Party in 2013 found its culprit: Mitt Romney’s callous tone toward minorities. Instead of being doomed to irrelevance in a changing America, the party would rebrand as a kinder, more inclusive GOP. They called their findings an “autopsy,” and party leaders from Paul Ryan to Newt Gingrich welcomed it with fanfare.
But even then, Donald Trump was lurking.
“New @RNC report calls for embracing ‘comprehensive immigration reform,’” he wrote in a little-noticed tweet, nestled alongside digs at Mark Cuban and Anthony Weiner on the day of the report’s release. “Does the @RNC have a death wish?”
Pundits laughed it off as the buffoonish ramble of a fringe New York billionaire on that March 2013 day, but what Trump didn’t say — and what the party establishment couldn’t have imagined — is that, three years later, he would be the one on the verge of making that death wish come true. The billionaire has not only ignored the report’s conclusions, he has run a campaign that moved the party in the exact opposite direction.
Now, with Trump’s GOP takeover fully underway, interviews with four co-authors of the 2012 autopsy and 10 other Republican leaders reveal a party establishment terrified that Trump is not only repeating the party’s failures — he’s destroying the party in the process. And while the leaders continue to insist that their report laid out the Republican Party’s best chance of victory, they fear Trump’s dominance will tear the party apart before they ever get a chance to put it in play.
“Swing voters would flock away from him in droves,” said Henry Barbour, one of the autopsy’s authors. And as for Trump’s claim that his working-class appealing will bring back Reagan Democrats, the veteran Mississippi Republican operative is unmoved: “He’s chasing some ghost that I don’t think exists anymore.”
After mounting for months, tension exploded Thursday with the return of Romney himself, who ripped Trump as a “fraud” and declared him anathema to what the Republican Party aspired to be. It’s part of a last-ditch effort by Romney, 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain and other party leaders to snatch the primary back from Trump before he rolls through to the general election.
That was back in the day when the Democratic Party, the mainstream media, and even a portion of the GOP believed that a Party could not win unless it appealed- or with the GOP, pandered- to blacks and Latinos.
Republicans lost two presidential elections to Barack Obama, conducted an autopsy, began to ignore it, nominated Donald "some are good people" Trump, and regained the presidency.
The GOP, which is likely to regain control of the House of Representatives and is nearly even money to seize the Senate, is most successful when it scares voters. No one needs an autopsy to determine how to do that and as Soledad O'Brien ungrammatically argues, it "ain't gonna happen."