Republicans Express Dismay About Trump’s Power Over GOP

Former US President and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at a watch party during the 2024 Iowa Republican presidential caucuses in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024. Trump told Americans Monday "it is time for our country to come together" after he won the Iowa caucuses, cementing his status as the likely Republican challenger to take on President Joe Biden in November's election. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)

After Trump and his allies scuppered a conservative border deal, ousted the RNC chair, continued embarrassing Nikki Haley, and increased pressure on formerly untouchable top Republicans like Mitch McConnell, several GOP politicians bemoaned the devastating power the former president wields over the Party and its members.


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“He’s got a stronghold. It’s not just on the Republican base, but also in the House,” former chair of the Nevada Republican Party Amy Tarkanian told POLITICO. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s completely mind-boggling to me, the type of brainwashing that has been done.”


Nikki Haley Addressing the public
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In Nevada’s Tuesday primary, Trump’s only remaining challenger for the Republican presidential nomination, Nikki Haley, suffered an embarrassing defeat to “none of these candidates.” The former president’s allies had pushed for voters to select the option as a rebuke to Haley’s continued defiance.

The little details


The Tuesday primary didn’t even have any stakes; two days later, in the contest that actually allocated delegates, Trump won 99.1% of the vote against Ryan Binkley. Haley was not on the ballot.

Staying until the end

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“Trump’s supporters will follow that man through the gates of hell,” a former executive director for the Nevada Republican Party told POLITICO.

Some anger

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“Obviously, Trump’s arrogant,” one Nevada Republican said just after voting on Tuesday. “I don’t care if he’s arrogant — you don’t have to marry him. But in just the last number of weeks, and the stuff he said, it’s just embarrassing. So, I voted for Nikki Haley just to send a tiny, tiny little message.”

Border chaos

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Meanwhile, Republicans in Washington DC descended into chaotic infighting as they failed several key votes. First, Republicans killed a funding bill that included tens of billions for Ukraine and Israel and the most conservative border policy changes in decades. 

Losing power

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Trump and his allies, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, repeatedly called on Republicans to tank the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, urged his colleagues to vote for the deal, pointing out that they would never get such serious concessions from Democrats under a Republican president.

Pointing fingers

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“I’ve been super unhappy since this started,” Johnson said. “Leader McConnell completely blew this.” “The reason we’ve been talking about the border is because they wanted to, the persistent critics,” McConnell said. “You can’t pass a bill without dealing with a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate.”

Tensions bubbling

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On Tuesday, seven hard-right Republicans called on McConnell to resign. “I’ve had a small group of persistent critics the whole time I’ve been in this job,” McConnell said.

Total mess

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“For three months it’s been nothing but border and Ukraine, border and Ukraine, border and Ukraine. I don’t know how many speeches I’ve heard … and now all of a sudden, it’s: ‘We’re not going to do that,’” Senator Josh Hawley, another of the McConnell critics, told POLITICO “It just seems like total chaos to me.”

More failures

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House Republicans also failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after three members joined Democrats to vote against the motion. Then, Republicans also failed to pass a bill that would send billions in aid to Israel.

Terrible for all

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“Ronna getting kicked out, the Senate meltdown — how you had the seventh senator come out and say there needs to be leadership change – the whole Mayorkas thing and Nikki Haley being the cherry on top, losing 2-to-1 to ‘none of the above,’” a Republican strategist said. “It’s devastating.”

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