The first primaries for the Republican nomination for president in 2024 are still a year away. Until this week the only declared candidate was Donald Trump. That changed, however, with the announcement by former South Carolina governor, and Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, making her candidacy official.
Haley is likely to be joined eventually by a multitude of Trumpian toadies, including Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pompeo, Tim Scott, Greg Abbott, and many others too cowardly to stick their necks out at this early stage of the game. Never mind that Trump has never been weaker and more vulnerable.
Shortly after Haley made her announcement, Trump pretended to be comfortable with the competition and welcomed her into the political fray. He said told Fox News that “I’m glad she’s running. I want her to follow her heart – even though she made a commitment that she would never run against who she called the greatest president of her lifetime.” He followed that up by saying “The more the merrier.”
Even worse, Trump claimed that he helped the people of South Carolina by removing her as governor and making her his ambassador to the U.N. So he’s bragging that he put someone who thinks was a terrible governor into a top diplomatic post.
But don’t let that facade of confidence fool you. The only reason Trump is outwardly supportive of Haley’s entry is that he knows she has no chance of winning and that she will only divide the anti-Trump vote, making it easier for him to prevail by a plurality.
The truth is that Trump is frightened of virtually everything. And he proved it on Thursday morning by unleashing a barrage of 28 posts in half an hour on his floundering Twitter ripoff, Truth Social, with the largest share – 9 in all – attacking Haley. Trump warned his cult followers that Haley will cut Social Security, that she flip-flopped on running against him, that she is a “born loser,” that she is somehow connected to Hillary Clinton, and that she is pro-war. It would be inaccurate to call Trump’s “welcome” a passive-aggressive attack, because there is nothing about it that is passive.
For her part, Haley took her candidate tour to Fox News on Thursday, where responded to a question about whether Trump was mentally fit to serve. She initially referred to a test that he took four years ago (that he laughably claims to have “aced”) wherein he was asked to identify an elephant and count to ten. But she went on to advocate competency tests for all elected officials, and specifically mentioned President Biden, who she said, without evidence, was asleep at the wheel.
This is such a funny dance between all of them. https://t.co/PaCzuq7LnG
— Sarah Longwell (@SarahLongwell25) February 16, 2023
The compulsion on the part of Republicans like Haley to malign Biden’s cognitive capacity makes it difficult for them to explain how he keeps beating Republicans electorally and legislatively, and how he has been so remarkably productive the last two years. If he’s such a mental vegetable, what does that make the GOP?
A historic two years of progress for the American people. pic.twitter.com/UpWilCTR3l
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 23, 2023
Republicans in Congress have explicitly committed themselves to asinine projects (like the formation of their “Anti-Woke” Caucus), and bitter partisanship (promising to “Make Life Hell” for Democrats). Meanwhile, Biden keeps producing results for the American people. Which leaves the GOP and Fox News with nothing to do but whine in the most pitiful manner.
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