The Republican Party’s 2020 midterm election hopes are in tatters after a string of embarrassing Trump tweets, including one that threatened to make him a “major target” in a primary in which Trump lost the popular vote.
Trump’s tweets on Thursday morning, following his failure to win the election in November, were the latest in a string that has seen his campaign struggle to keep his tweets in check.
At the center of the Trump feud is his suggestion that the GOP must elect him to be its nominee for president if it wants to regain the House in November.
“If we don’t win the House, the country loses the Congress.
We have to make our case to voters,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“If the Democrats win the Senate, the Democrats have the House and they can put that puppet on the Supreme Court, they can get rid of me.
It’s very simple.
If we lose the Senate in November we lose our House.”
Trump is not the only Republican to have run afoul of the president in recent days.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Thursday that he would not run for president again, citing his health.
And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he would be retiring from the House after serving the last seven years as speaker.
“I am a little surprised that there is a lot of talk about the future of the Republican Party, the future in the House,” Gingrich said on Fox News.
“The country needs to be focused on what the country needs.”
Republicans are also hoping to use Trump’s failure to get the 270 electoral votes needed to win a majority in the Senate to push them to take a more populist stance on the economy.
Trump has repeatedly criticized the nation’s current economy and has repeatedly attacked the Democratic party as a corrupt, corporate-owned entity that has taken advantage of Americans.
The Trump campaign and his allies have countered that the economy is in a state of recovery, with many companies seeing positive earnings and job gains, and Trump’s rhetoric has energized voters who feel economically neglected.
But Trump’s campaign has also been hammered by accusations that he has used campaign funds to help donors, and that he is using his political leverage to secure campaign contributions from donors who can make him more powerful.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has also faced questions over the extent of Trump’s spending on his behalf.
He told the Wall Street Journal that Trump has spent more money on campaign-related things than any other candidate in history.
He has also defended Trump’s actions during the 2016 presidential campaign, saying he spent more on his campaign than any candidate had done.
“The last four years were unprecedented.
And we didn’t have anything like this,” Priebus said.
“And that’s the point of the American people.
They don’t like it when you’re spending money on your campaign.
And so that’s where I stand.
But I also understand that the American public does.”
Trump and other Republicans have tried to tamp down on Trump’s comments.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R – Wis.) said Thursday that the president has been consistent in his criticism of the Democrats and their campaign and that Republicans are focused on the long-term agenda of building a stronger economy and job creation.
“Our goal is not to distract from the agenda that the Republican agenda has,” Ryan said on CNN.
“Our agenda is to be stronger and more stable and a stronger country.”
Republicans have faced backlash for their treatment of Trump.
A poll released last week by the Pew Research Center found that only 24 percent of Republicans trust Trump’s handling of the economy to be “good” or “excellent” compared with 60 percent of Democrats.
And a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 46 percent of voters are satisfied with the job the GOP is doing, compared with 43 percent who said they are dissatisfied.
“It’s been very disappointing, but I think it’s going to take time,” said Republican strategist Mike DuHaime.
“There is a time and place for every political argument.
But at some point you’ve got to put the focus on what’s actually working and what’s not working and that’s what the Republicans have been trying to do.
They’ve had an enormous amount of success in the last few years and it’s not just about Donald Trump.
It is about the party.”
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj