Donald Trump faces blame from Republicans as he proceeds with White House bid

Republicans have stepped up their public criticism of former President Donald Trump after an unexpectedly poor showing in the midterm elections, even as he plans to announce a third candidacy for the White House next week.

Republican Lieutenant Governor of Ireland Winsome Earle-Sears, once a vocal supporter of Mr Trump, said voters on Tuesday sent “a very clear message” that “enough is enough”.

“Voters have spoken and they’ve said they want a different leader and a true leader understands when they’ve become a liability,” she said in an appearance on Fox Business. “A true leader understands it’s time to step off the stage. It’s time to move on.”

Some advisers had urged Mr Trump to delay his planned announcement until after the Dec. 6 Senate runoff in Georgia, which could determine which party controls the Senate, to avoid the race turning into a referendum on him and inadvertently helping the Democrats.


Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

However, Mr Trump has dismissed that advice and intends to proceed with an announcement on Nov. 15, according to a senior adviser, who asked not to be identified to discuss the plans.

That leaves him trying to launch a comeback bid at a time when he’s in a position of extreme vulnerability, having largely dominated the party unchallenged since winning the nomination in 2016.

At the same time, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who easily won re-election on Tuesday, is gaining renewed attention as Republicans openly consider walking away from Mr Trump.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate Republican No. 2, noted Mr Trump’s role in raising some inexperienced and controversial candidates in the primaries earlier this year who were lost in this week’s election.

In an interview, Mr Thune said there was “no substitute for quality candidates”.

Mr Thune said he hoped the party would see the emergence of younger leaders, adding: “You can’t have a party that’s built around a person’s personality.”

Retired Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey also blamed Mr. Trump’s intervention for GOP losses in his state, noting that Trump-backed candidates fared significantly worse than other Republicans in the vote.

“I think my party has to face the fact that if loyalty to Donald Trump is the main criterion for selecting candidates, we probably won’t do very well,” he said on CNN.


Mr Trump is expected to proceed with a third presidential election (Andrew Harnik/AP)

“Across the country, there is a very high correlation between MAGA candidates and big losses, or at least dramatic underperformance.”

Mr Trump has denied he had a bad night.

“To the many people being fed the false narrative by the corrupt media that I’m angry at the Midterms, don’t believe it,” he said on his social media network.

“I’m not angry at all, did a great job (I wasn’t the one running!) and very busy looking to the future. Remember, I’m a ‘stable genius’.”

While the resounding victory predicted by Republicans did not materialize, the party still appears well positioned to turn around the House of Representatives and could eventually win the Senate as well. Many races remain too early to announce them.

Allies of Mr Trump made statements to media on behalf of the former President and supported him ahead of his forthcoming announcement.

“I am proud to support Donald J. Trump for President in 2024. I fully support his re-election,” House GOP Chairwoman Elise Stefanik said in a statement.

“It’s time for Republicans to unite around America’s most popular Republican with a proven track record of conservative governance.”

They’ll keep coming after us, MAGA, but eventually we’ll win. Put America First and Make America Great Again!Statement by Donald Trump

Ohio Senate nominee JD Vance, who demonstrated the most successful endorsement of Mr Trump, said if the former president decides to run again, he is confident he will be the party’s nominee.

“Every year the media writes the political obituary of Donald Trump. And each year we are quickly reminded that Trump remains the most popular figure in the Republican Party,” Mr Vance said in a statement delivered after requests were made to Mr Trump’s spokesman.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump escalated his public rebuke of Mr DeSantis, whom he has long viewed as his most formidable potential challenger.

In a long and angry statement Thursday night, Mr Trump berated Fox News and other Rupert Murdoch-controlled media outlets for going “all-in on Governor Ron DeSanctimonious DeSantis,” whom he described as “an average REPUBLICAN governor with great public relations.” as he once again owed Mr. DeSantis’ win in 2018.

While Mr Trump’s allies had previously insisted that reports of tensions between the men were exaggerated, Mr Trump, who privately blasted Mr DeSantis for not ruling out a run against him, did so publicly.

“Well in terms of loyalty and class that’s really not the right answer,” he wrote, comparing the race to his 2016 winning campaign.

“We are in exactly the same position now. They’ll keep coming after us, MAGA, but eventually we’ll win. Put America First and Make America Great Again!” Donald Trump faces blame from Republicans as he proceeds with White House bid

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