Republican strategists in Georgia are revealing their frustrations about working with former President Donald Trump during the senate run-offs that ended in upset Democratic victories.
According to NPR, GOP insiders said that convincing Trump to campaign on behalf of candidates David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler was “like a hostage situation every day” due to the former president’s supposedly intense demands of both the candidates and his party.
“Every week we had some new sort of demand,” said an anonymous strategist involved with the campaigns. “Calling for the hand recount. The signature match. A special session. Two thousand dollar [coronavirus relief] checks. Objecting to the electors.”
“It was, ‘If you do not do this, the president will actively work against you and you will lose.”
Politicos also cited the stress of dealing with Trump’s use of social media, claiming that they were constantly trying to “guard against” his latest tweets.
Other sources confirmed that both Perdue and Loeffler were under intense pressure both from Trump as well as his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to shape their campaign around talking points that the New York real estate mogul wanted, including the allegation that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him.
Conservative Erick Erickson noted that he believes such demands ended up costing Republicans the two Georgia Senate seats — which marked the first time two Democrats have filled the seats in 20 years.
“The going all-in on the cult of personality around President Trump hurt them as a result,” he said.
As the dust has settled in the January 5 senate race, many conservatives are blaming Trump for the loss, claiming that his constant focus on voter fraud dampened voter turnout and alienated independent voters.
Liz Mair, a national Republican strategist who worked on a pro-Loeffler PAC, said that Loeffler felt like she had to cater to the MAGA base at the detriment of being her authentic self. Mair believed that this hurt her run, as constituents could “smell a rat” who is putting on a front.
“A lot of people are trying to figure out how much they can run exactly the campaign that they want to run, versus the campaign that they feel that they need to run,” she said.
However, despite mutterings in the party about their unhappiness at Trump’s influence, it appears that he has little desire to exit the political sphere yet. As covered by The Inquisitr, Trump’s longtime advisor Corey Lewandowski claimed in a recent interview that the current Mar-a-Lago resident hopes to be “actively involved” in the party in the future.