“They [GOP establishment] see weakness in this president,” McCain told the New York Times. “Look, it’s not a nice business we’re in.”
Graham is pushing for 2020 candidates to release their tax returns, a line from the Democrat Party playbook and a dig directly at the president.
“I think that prospectively what I’ll do is, any candidate running in 2020 needs to release their tax returns,” Graham told reporters.
Graham and McCain have been vocal leaders of the Anti-Trump brigade in the Senate and have advocated for the congressional committee investigations into still unproven allegations of Russian collusion and the placement of Robert Mueller as special counsel.
Despite Trump’s efforts to embrace the party establishment by bringing in Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer, it appears that the GOP is looking for something different in 2020.
Bill Kristol, editor-at-large of the Weekly Standard, said he has initiated informal talks about creating a “Committee Not to Renominate the President.”
“We need to take one shot at liberating the Republican Party from Trump, and conservatism from Trumpism,” Kristol said in an interview.
The Republican party failed to recognize, during the 2016 election, Trump’s connection to working class families who had been ignored for decades by both parties. And that lesson still seems lost on them. The GOP is pushing a slew of moderates to run against Trump and none of them has the backing of working Americans.
In late July, Gov. Scott Walker and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) appeared before a crowd of Republican donors in what is historically the first step to declaring a run for national office.
“I’m the only politician here this week that married a girl born in Iowa,” said Mr. Cotton in an obvious attempt to garner favor with donors in the state hosting the famous straw poll and the first caucus in the nation.
Gov. John Kasich, who fared poorly in the 2016 primaries, also appears ready to make another run.
The difficulty for the cadre of candidates that the establishment GOP will march in front of voters in 2020, as many as 30 are predicted, is that it will be another massive pool of politicians with a dizzying array of promises that no one in the base believes they will keep. The base doesn’t trust the party or members of Congress to do anything but make promises and then break them.
The Republican Party could also be negatively affecting the 2018 mid term elections. While Trump’s approval rating is hovering around 40%, Congress is at 10. They’ll need him at every stump, podium, and event if they want to retain or grow their majority next year. While the base doesn’t like Congress very much, if the president says he needs so-and-so to be elected so that he can continue making American great again, that will bring in votes. Trump is still pulling in record crowds for his MAGA Rallies and the GOP should take notice of his pull with the people.