Trump Continues to Take a Public Drubbing

Former president disputes reports he's angry at wife Melania and Fox's Hannity
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2022 2:08 PM CST
Trump Continues to Take a Public Drubbing
Former President Trump speaks to guests at Mar-a-lago on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In the first assessments of Tuesday's voting, Donald Trump did not fare well. After more than a full day of letting the dust settle, things haven't changed much.

  • On the right: The conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, for example, has a scathing editorial Thursday headlined "Trump Is the Republican Party's Biggest Loser." The former president "botched" the midterms by pushing weak candidates, the editors write, and he now has a "perfect record of electoral defeat" since beating Hillary Clinton in 2016 because he has "flopped in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022."
  • New York Post piles on: Another publication owned by Rupert Murdoch is getting even more attention for its Trump criticism, with the cover of the New York Post mocking "Trumpty Dumpty" and the inside featuring a blistering essay by John Podhoretz—who borrows a page from the Trump playbook by bestowing a nickname upon the former president: "Toxic Trump."

  • Down a cliff? A story at the New York Times by Maggie Haberman and Michael C. Bender rounds up criticism on Fox News and elsewhere on the right, concluding that Trump is "at his most vulnerable point politically since the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol." Among other things, it notes that Trump's former press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said on Fox that Trump should delay any announcement about 2024 until after the Georgia Senate runoff is over. “Republicans have followed Donald Trump off the side of a cliff,” David Urban, described as a longtime Trump adviser, tells the newspaper.
  • Trump fires back: The Times and ABC News report that Trump has been fuming at wife Melania and Fox's Sean Hannity because they encouraged him to endorse Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. On Thursday, Trump refuted the claim. “I’d like to apologize to Melania and Sean Hannity for all of the Fake News and fictional stories (made up out of thin air, with no sources despite them claiming there are!), being dumped on you by reporters and ‘News’ Organizations who know these stories are not true,” Trump said on Truth Social, per the Hill. As for delaying his political plans, he pointed to the performances of Herschel Walker in Georgia (in the aforementioned runoff) and JD Vance in Ohio (headed to the Senate) and said on Fox, “We had tremendous success—why would anything change?”
  • Been here before: For Trump foes celebrating all this criticism, Susan B. Glasser notes that he is still the "unquestionable" frontrunner among GOP candidates for 2024. Yes, Republicans would have had a much better night on Tuesday without the former president's influence, but "there was no knockout punch that would finally prove the folly of the Republicans’ Trumpian turn," she writes at the New Yorker. And as Vance puts it: "Every year, the media writes Donald Trump’s political obituary. And every year, we’re quickly reminded that Trump remains the most popular figure in the Republican Party."
  • The calculus: For Ron DeSantis and other Republicans now weighing a run against a seemingly weakened Trump, the decision remains politically dangerous, per Politico. The story rounds up the factors at play, including this one: Would-be candidates must "decide whether they have the stomach to take on a former president known for having a vindictive streak."
(More Donald Trump stories.)

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