Donald Trump’s announcement of a third consecutive run for the presidency is bad for the Republican party because he is the only Republican who could lose in 2024, Trump’s own former White House chief of staff said on Tuesday night.
Asked on CNN if he thought Trump’s announcement at Mar-a-Lago was good for the Republican party, Mick Mulvaney said: “No I don’t. I think he’s the only Republican who could lose.”
The former South Carolina congressman was Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget and then his third chief of staff, in an acting capacity between 2018 and 2020. He then became the US special envoy for Northern Ireland.
Mulvaney’s move into media punditry, as a voice from the Trump administration, has been widely criticised.
When CBS announced its hiring of Mulvaney earlier this year, Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post asked: “Why hire this partisan … who had such an execrable record of enabling his boss’s corruption and reinforcing his lies? What journalistic purpose could this possibly serve?”
Many pundits think Trump cannot win the Republican nomination a third time, given the fall of most of his endorsed candidates in last week’s midterm elections, a disappointment for Republicans, and the rise of Ron DeSantis, the Trumpist governor of Florida.
On Wednesday a major Trump donor, Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive of the private-equity giant Blackstone, said he was out this time.
In a statement to Axios, Schwarzman said: “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday. It is time for the Republican party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”
But Mulvaney thinks Trump will win those primaries. Speaking to CNN, he said: “Now [Trump’s] the candidate, he is the likely Republican nominee. Can he be beaten head-to-head by Ron DeSantis or [South Carolina senator] Tim Scott? Sure.
“But it’s not going to be a head-to-head race. There will be five or six other people in the race and he’ll get the 35% that really support him and under the winner-take-all primary system, he’ll be the nominee.”
Mulvaney has warned before that Trump is the only Republican who could lose to Joe Biden in 2024.
On Tuesday he told CNN a Trump nomination would mean “the 2024 race is not about Joe Biden or whatever Democrat is on the ticket, not about inflation, not about world events, not about abortion.
“It will be about Donald Trump, the same thing we saw in 2020. No one voted for Joe Biden. Everybody voted for or against Donald Trump. It was a referendum on him.
“That’s what we’re hurtling toward in 2024. And I don’t see the outcome being any different two years from now than it was two years ago.”
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