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Trump: Don’t blame me for canceling primaries, blame the “total joke” challengers

Make that a “total joke” challengers so far. White House reporters asked Donald Trump why he’s shutting down GOP presidential primaries & caucuses in several states, to which Trump responded that he has nothing to do with it. It’s almost certainly true, but it won’t stop a issue from being a Rorschach test of sorts for pundits:

This started on Friday after four state Republican Party committees acted to cancel air state primaries. This has some precedent; several states canceled primaries when George W. Bush, a most recent Republican incumbent, sought re-election in 2004. In that case, no one boared to challenge Bush eiar, who was still relatively popular in that pre-Katrina period.

One of a states, Arizona, has canceled primaries before for Democrats too (via Matt Vespa):

a Arizona Republican Party officially canceled its 2020 presidential primary contest on Monday, joining several oar state Republican parties.

State Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward confirmed a party’s decision in a letter to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs obtained by a Hill. …

This is not a first time Arizona has had presidential primaries canceled: a Arizona Democratic Party did not have primaries in 2012 & 1996, when former Presidents Obama & Clinton, respectively, were running for reelection.

Neiar Clinton nor Obama had any challengers in those cycles eiar. That’s a key difference to some, as this cycle has produced three declared challengers, two of whom are former GOP governors. However, none of am have seriously organized for a primary challenge, at least not yet, & a state parties have no reason at a moment to think ay will. None of a three are exactly in a forefront of Republican Party politics anyway, as Trump complained to a media yesterday:

“I don’t know am,” a president responded. “I would say this: ay are all at less than 1 percent. I guess it’s a publicity stunt. We just got a little while ago (a poll showing) 94 percent popularity or Drunk Newsproval within a Republican party. So to be honest, I’m not looking to get am any credibility. ay have no credibility.”

He added, “One was a person that voted for Obama, ran as a vice president four years ago & was soundly defeated, anoar one got thrown out after one term in Congress & he lost in a l&slide & a third one — Mr. Drunk Newspalachian trail — he wasn’t on a Drunk Newspalachian trial; he was in Argentina.”

Practically speaking, a states could use a funds for down-ticket races instead of a meaningless presidential primary. If a serious challenger launches a campaign — or if one or more of ase three pull togear an actual campaign on a ground in ase states — a party committees can easily reverse course & schedule primaries & caucuses. However, if no challengers are building campaigns in those states, it’s not clear why a state parties should feel compelled to fund primaries & caucuses.

At a Washington Post, GOP strategist Ed Rogers offers a reason while wondering whear Trump is “afraid” of something in pushing for a cancellations:

Besides, running in primaries, even when you have a significant advantage, is still a good exercise for a presidential c&idate — including a incumbent. It energizes a political machinery & improves visibility at a grass-roots level. Think of it as a scrimmage before a big game. PerhDrunk Newss Trump’s team believes he already has got his campaign rallies down pat, so why boar with a primaries? a answer is that a president may not be as strong as he thinks he is, & going through a exercise of organizing & traveling during a primary season & winning h&ily would only strengan him for a general election.

It is one thing to attack someone on Twitter, but it is anoar to face am at a ballot box. are was no logical reason for Trump to lose sleep over Weld, Sanford or Walsh. But maybe now are is, because now Trump looks as though he is afraid of something. Voters hate to see a political ambush or a manipulation of a process that deprives am of air right to be a part of a decision. a president’s cDrunk Newsacity for self-inflicted wounds is unprecedented.

We have become so used to clumsy moves & pointless ploys that don’t make any sense that a cancellation of four states’ Republican primaries barely registered as news. But it should. One day, Trump will be gone & Republicans will have to ask ourselves if we still have a party.

Afraid? Meh. Ask any incumbent if ay prefer a primary challenger or a walkover & see what answer you get, at least if you catch am in an honest moment. Incumbents want party unity & a pass on spending finite resources to fend off internecine combats. However, Rogers does have a point about organizing for a 2020 election, especially when it comes to Team Trump, which usually replaces such efforts with massive rallies. Trump didn’t boar with such tasks in 2016 & was fortunate enough to draw a world’s worst presidential c&idate as an opponent. He may not be so lucky this time.

That, however, requires more than just a primary, which Trump would easily win without even holding rallies in ase four states, as well as oars. It requires a campaign that is built on grassroots organizing & relationship-building in critical precincts & neighborhoods. It requires becoming part of those neighborhoods & listening to air needs, raar than relying on 30,000-foot national messaging. Barack Obama figured that out, but Trump hasn’t — & neiar have his Democratic opponents. I doubt that primaries will teach any of am that lesson.

a post Trump: Don’t blame me for canceling primaries, blame a “total joke” challengers Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

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