- Several Trump allies fear that his fixation on the 2020 election could make him irrelevant going forward.
- “It’s like a slow leak of a balloon that is now laying on the floor,” an ex-Trump official told CNN.
- Trump is still mulling a 2024 presidential campaign.
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When former President Donald Trump walked on stage at the North Carolina GOP Convention on Saturday, he was facing an adoring crowd of loyal Republicans who are eager to regain control of Congress in 2022.
After Lara Trump declined to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Richard Burr next year, the former president quickly pivoted to backing conservative Rep. Ted Budd, a move that reflected his role in shaping the future of the party.
However, Trump pulled focus back to the 2020 presidential election, bringing up debunked allegations of voting fraud and continuing to question whether some blue states truly voted for Democratic President Joe Biden.
For a group of Trump aides and advisors, efforts to combat the former president’s fixation on the 2020 election have proven to be a difficult proposition, according to a CNN report.
Trump has faced growing calls to aid Republicans as they seek to regain control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, according to CNN.
However, Trump has mostly brushed off the concerns, listening to individuals on television and in his larger circle who have told him to continue relitigating the 2020 election, per the CNN report.
The former president’s address on Saturday was his first major public appearance since his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida, where he reaffirmed his commitment to the Republican Party amid a Wall Street Journal report that he sought to create his own political party.
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According to CNN, sources have said that Trump is “bored” by the issues that have been promoted by his advisors, which include threats to the country’s energy infrastructure and inflationary concerns.
One ex-Trump official told CNN that the former president is so “obsessed” with his failed reelection bid that he runs the risk of irrelevancy.
“It’s like a slow leak of a balloon that is now laying on the floor,” the ex-Trump official told the network.
Last week, Insider’s Jake Lahut reported on a tweet sent by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, where she stated that Trump was informing people that he expected to be reinstated as president in August.
Trump has also continued to push for audits of the presidential results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – all states that he narrowly lost in 2020 – similar to an ongoing GOP-initiated audit that is being conducted in Arizona.
Allies want to see Trump promote an agenda rooted in the future
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a staunch ally of Trump, reportedly sought to orient the former president’s messaging to deliver a speech that was “two-thirds forward-looking, one-third grievance,” according to a source that spoke with CNN.
David Kochel, a GOP strategist for several presidential campaigns, told CNN that Trump will benefit from such a message, but also emphasized that the former president knows what his supporters want to hear.
“Any good consultant will tell him to look ahead, not back and that would be good advice,” he said. “But one of Trump’s superpowers is knowing exactly what his audience wants. They want the hits, and the #1 hit on the charts right now is ‘Stop the Steal.’ There’s no way he can give a speech without playing that tune.”
According to CNN, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Fox News host Sean Hannity have also sought to drive Trump’s message in a new direction, fearing that the former president is detaching himself from some voters.
“The conspiracy theories and election fraud rhetoric are helpful for keeping a certain audience engaged but they do virtually nothing to move other voters – especially those who care about pocketbook issues – into our column,” said an individual close to Trump.
The individual added: “At some point, the election integrity stuff just becomes dull. We’re six months out and I think we’re starting to see that happen. He can keep running through the greatest hits but he needs to weave in some new material too.”