Monday, February 06, 2023

They Can't Possibly Believe This.

The answer is "of course, he can" On January 29, during his regular stint as a panelist on This Week with or without George Stephanopoulos, Chris Christie argued

Donald Trump "can't win a general election" — as evidenced by his failure in 2020.

"And that's not speculation," Christie, a former Trump supporter, said in an appearance on ABC's This Week on Sunday. "That's based upon the polling that I was privy to pre-the 2020 election and what we saw actually happen in the 2020 election. And it's only gotten worse since then."

Christie said that the failure of Trump-endorsed candidates in the 2022 midterm elections is further proof that support for the former president is eroding.

"We could go through the entire list — loser, loser, loser, loser — and I think Republicans are recognizing that," Christie said of Republicans like Blake Masters, Kari Lake and Doug Mastriano — all of whom lost their races in 2022.

Calling them "bad candidates," Christie noted those Republicans were both endorsed by Trump and echoed his false claims that the 2020 election was rigged against him.

One week later

“Joe Biden is not an exciting candidate. He’s old. He’s boring. And the American people are not relating to him,” Christie said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week. “That was the same in 2020 but he was running against someone who was so toxic that he won anyway.”

Asked if Trump could beat Biden in a rematch next year, Christie responded: “I don’t think so.”

Christie’s views on Trump’s chances were echoed by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who said on ABC that the results of the 2022 midterms showed that the former GOP president could not win another term in the White House.

“Trump is going to be seen as a very extreme candidate,” Sununu said. “The country is going to push back against it. If we just look at the results of three months ago, and that shows you where extreme candidates are going to end up falling. It can’t get done.”

So two prominent Republicans, both of whom are considered possible candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, agree that Donald Trump would likely lose if nominated.

Even less likely is that they have a clue or, if they do, that they're being straight with the public (and any GOP presidential nominee must be straight).  The day before their Sunday appearances, we learned of an ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that Republicans don't want Trump nominated and Democrats don't want Biden re-nominated.

Things have been looking up for the incumbent lately, particularly with strikingly good economic news, and Biden received his highest approval mark in that survey since April, 2022. However, approval was only 42%. And matched against Trump in a rematch, Biden was preferred by only 45% of respondents to 48% for the ex-President.

That's a very bad number for the incumbent- and a good number for Donald Trump. Nonetheless, it is of greater importance that

In a hypothetical rematch, Trump held a 48 percent to 45 percent advantage over Biden, an outcome that is within the new poll’s margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Biden also garnered a 42 percent approval rating in the poll of 1,003 people, his highest mark in the ABC-Washington Post poll since April.

Just the day before, an MSNBC blogger noted of the New Hampshire governor

during last year’s Gridiron Club dinner for Washington insiders, he quipped that Trump was “crazy” (using some colorful language).

“I don’t think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution,” he said, according to Politico. “But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out!”

Sununu soon said he had just been joking, and he has repeated that caveat several times since. But on Thursday, he took the backpedaling into overdrive.

During a CNN interview, Sununu vowed to support Trump should he win the Republican nomination for president next year. Sununu said whoever the Republican nominee is will be “better than any of the Democrats that would likely sit in that presidential seat.”

Asked about his having called Trump crazy, Sununu replied: “Yeah, that was funny. It was a roast! It was a funny joke!”

Weak-kneed politicians such as Chris Sununu, who has pledged to support Trump if nominated, and Chris Christie, who won't say, want the media to know that they really, really don't like Donald Trump. But at the very least, they admire him.  If it becomes clear sometime in the first half of 2024 that Trump will become the GOP nominee, the Chrises and virtually every single Republican will line up to support him. A choice between country and party is no choice at all for most of them which, more than any poll 21 months out from the election, is the reason Donald Trump could be re-elected.

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