The Morning Briefing: Stop Blaming Trump for Failed GOP 2022 Candidates

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Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Wednesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Xander’s failed attempts at origami merely served as fuel for his motivational fire to prove Uncle Ronnie wrong.


Another day, another lament from me about the messiness in the Republican party. It is utterly amazing how much chaos one little failed red wave can unleash.

In case you missed it, the 2022 midterm elections finally came to an end last night, which Matt covered:

Less than three hours after the polls closed on Tuesday, PJ Media partner Decision Desk HQ projects that incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock has won reelection in a runoff election against Trump-endorsed Republican opponent Herschel Walker.

This came as no surprise to most. It was quite clear after November 8 that the energy just wasn’t with the Grand Old Party this year. My very Republican cousin from Atlanta called me shortly after the general election and told me that she knew a lot of people in Georgia who voted for Brian Kemp for governor but didn’t vote for Herschel Walker. My expectations for the runoff were greatly modified by that information.

Naturally, the lefties and moderate/left Republicans blame Walker’s loss on Donald Trump. We’ve endured almost a month of hearing that Trump singlehandedly ruined the red wave. It’s nonsense, of course, and it’s counterproductive.

Trump is influential, he’s not freakin’ magical.

When the Georgia results were called, this was my reaction:


That prompted a response from a Republican who thought he was making an original point by saying that Mitch McConnell didn’t pick Walker or any of the other Republican candidates who didn’t win their Senate races.

Well, neither did Donald Trump. He merely endorsed them. The voters picked them.

Each state had different factors in play too. I’ll give you just a couple from here in Arizona.

I wrote in July about Mark Kelly’s ability to amass a pile of cash and not have to spend much of it because the Arizona GOP had agreed to an early August primary.

And the reason Blake Masters won that primary wasn’t only because Trump endorsed him, it was because the state GOP here doesn’t have a bench. Why do you think Martha McSally managed to lose races to both of Arizona’s Democratic senators? She’s a horrible candidate but the Arizona GOP didn’t have any more viable options to offer.

Trust me, any of the people who Masters beat in the primary would have lost to Kelly.

The danger in reducing the Republicans’ lackluster performance in 2022 to “Trump candidates” is that it gives GOP leadership a chance to wriggle off of the hook. My question for the suddenly vocal McConnell fanboys is this: if he’s so brilliant, why wasn’t his considerable influence and fundraising apparatus able to put forth strong candidates in the places like Arizona, Georgia, or Pennsylvania? If, as the current ridiculous narrative goes, Trump’s picks were such awful candidates surely Maestro Mitch and the Squish Squad could have found some establishment-kissed foes to knock them off.


The Republican party needs to do a lot of soul-searching before the 2024 presidential race begins in earnest next year. Donald Trump will be a big part of that. Despite being a fan of his, I do think he’s bringing some problems to the table this time around.

This one isn’t on him though. Blaming him gives the moribund D.C. Republican elites a reason to avoid figuring out what it wants to do to get serious about keeping the Democrats from running them into permanent minority status.

Please consider subscribing to the Morning Briefing here. It’s free and it helps keep me off the streets.

The Mailbag of Magnificence contributions can be sent to [email protected].

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