‘Furious’ and ‘livid’ Trump blames Melania for telling him to back Dr Oz

Former president urged to delay 2024 announcement as Republicans perform worse than expected in midterms

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 09 November 2022 17:52 GMT
Related video: What the U.S. midterm results mean for Biden and Trump
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A furious Donald Trump spent the morning after the midterm elections lashing out at those he believes gave him bad advice as several of the candidates he endorsed in pivotal races came up short.

Mr Trump is reportedly blaming his wife Melania Trump for advising him to back Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania senate race.

Dr Oz has called Democrat John Fetterman to concede the race.

“Trump is indeed furious this morning, particularly about Mehmet Oz, and is blaming everyone who advised him to back Oz, including his wife, describing it as not her best decision, according to people close to him,” Maggie Haberman of The New York Times tweeted on Wednesday morning.

Ms Haberman added that there are people urging Mr Trump to reschedule his expected 2024 presidential campaign announcement that’s currently expected to occur next week.

Several Republicans have already texted to ask if he will do so, Ms Haberman noted. “But it’s risky and would be acknowledging he’s wounded by yesterday, something that some of his advisers insist is not the case.”

She added that it’s “worth remembering that Trump is a grown man who endorsed Oz over the objection of some of the people closest to him, and instead went beyond just endorsing and attacked” Dr Oz’s GOP primary opponent “Dave McCormick from the stage at a rally”.

Donald and Melania Trump leave a polling station after voting in the US midterm elections in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 8, 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)

An adviser to the former president told CNN that “Trump is livid” and “screaming at everyone” after the Republicans did worse than expected.

Jim Acosta tweeted that the adviser blasted Mr Trump’s handpicked candidates.

“They were all bad candidates,” the adviser said. “Candidates matter.”

The adviser added that it’s unlikely that Mr Trump will delay his expected 2024 campaign announcement because “it’s too humiliating to delay”.

But the adviser also said that much is unclear at this time, according to Acosta.

Liam Donovan, who previously served as an aide at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told The New York Times that “if this proves to be another Senate flop in a year that was otherwise favourable to Republicans — even if not a wave — it will again be a function of the candidates they put up, which was unmistakably shaped and steered by Donald Trump”.

He noted that the Georgia senate race may head to a run-off, in which Mr Trump could still show his hold over the GOP if Herschel Walker defeats incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich claimed that the former president’s agenda “won” at the ballot box despite the GOP performing much worse than expected.

“As President Trump looks to the future, he will continue to champion his America First agenda that won overwhelmingly at the ballot box,” he said, according to The Washington Post.

He claimed that Mr Trump’s record on endorsements is “a truly unprecedented accomplishment and something only possible because of President Trump’s ability to pick and elect winners”.

The red wave Mr Trump had been hoping to take credit for before announcing his 2024 candidacy has failed to appear.

GOP commentator Erick Erickson told The Washington Post that “candidate quality matters” as many Republicans have fumed at Mr Trump’s willingness to support radical candidates, some of whom have turned out to be unpalatable to the wider electorate.

Craziest moments from US midterm election night

“They weren’t good candidates. They had more allegiance to him than anything else. The GOP might still win both [chambers] but this is not the night they expected,” Mr Erickson added.

Political observers took to Twitter to share takes on Mr Trump’s impact on the Republican midterm performance early on Wednesday as incoming results revealed a better-than-expected showing for the Democrats.

“No matter how Trump or MAGA try to spin it, that was an epic disaster for them. They were certain of a 3-4 seat majority in Senate and 25-30 seat majority in House while picking up several governorships and Secs of State. None of that happened. What a historic day,” lawyer Ron Filipkowski tweeted.

Sahil Kapur of NBC News shared a theory that “Donald Trump converted swaths of college-educated regulars into Democrats and made the GOP coalition more reliant on low-propensity voters who don’t care for typical Republican candidates and vote irregularly in off-year elections”.

Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wrote that the Democrats “have a Florida problem, but Republicans have a Trump problem that seems harder to solve”.

Fox News White House Correspondent Jacqui Heinrich tweeted that she was told by a Republican source that “if it wasn’t clear before it should be now. We have a Trump problem”.

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