In a truly telling admission that Donald Trump’s campaign operatives have no control over their candidate, top adviser Susie Wiles told Republican megadonors at a private event Tuesday not to take his rage-filled invectives seriously.
In any normal campaign with a remotely normal candidate, top campaign aides would just tell their candidate to put a sock in their incendiary rhetoric. They could warn, “You’re killing us with rich donors!” And that would be the end of it.
But it’s becoming clear that Trump is too far gone for that fix. They got one sedated speech out of him after his Iowa victory and now it’s Katy, bar the door! Trump appears even more erratic now than he did in 2020, and his campaign chiefs obviously don’t stand a chance of moderating him, much less controlling him. As NBC News writes of the ritzy Palm Beach event at the Four Seasons (hotel, not Total Landscaping):
Wiles conceded to the donors that Trump is going to say things people don’t like. But she countered that he is poised to lock down his party’s nomination and that he is the GOP’s best hope to defeat President Joe Biden, according to a person familiar with her remarks.
In other words: Write checks if you want access, folks. Sure, Trump’s a lunatic, but he’s gonna win and you’ll want to be able to get his ear.
Wiles’ appeal came several days after Trump outright threatened Nikki Haley donors with being “permanently barred from the MAGA camp.” (No presidential inaugural ball for you!) Some Haley donors were reportedly in attendance at the event.
And while it’s true that Trump will most likely secure the Republican nomination, recent polling is very mixed on whether he’s the better general election candidate to face off against President Joe Biden.
The most recent Quinnipiac University poll (Jan. 25 – 29) showed Haley besting Biden by 5 points in a head-to-head matchup, 47% – 42%, while Trump loses to Biden by 6 points, 44% – 50%. It’s just one survey but by and large, the polling is all over the map, particularly when third-party variables are thrown in.
What is perhaps most confounding, however, is a campaign chief exclusively trying to sell a bunch of well-heeled donors on the idea of simply ignoring whatever Trump burps out of his mouth. How exactly does the campaign expect to convey that message to average voters—particularly the critical swing voters who are already registering their disdain for Trump at the ballot box?
In the view of some political observers (Haley included), Trump truly has lost a step since 2020, not to mention 2016. In fact, it’s the subject of a new Biden campaign ad called “Confused” posted on Truth Social this week.
So the key question the Trump camp will need to address is: How does a campaign woo swing voters with a candidate whose top campaign aides are already apologizing for his behavior on the trail? Because Trump’s handlers are already failing at muzzling him.
Republished with permission from Daily Kos.