Politics: Trump's one-time White House chief of staff says former president is the 'only Republican who can lose' in 2024

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Former President Donald Trump (R) and his then-acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (L) at the White House on December 5, 2019. Mark Wilson/Getty Images © Mark Wilson/Getty Images Former President Donald Trump (R) and his then-acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (L) at the White House on December 5, 2019. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
  • Mick Mulvaney told CNN that Donald Trump is the "only Republican who can lose" in 2024.
  • The former president made his 2024 presidential bid official on Tuesday.
  • But some Republicans, like Mulvaney, believe he is too divisive a candidate to win.

Mick Mulvaney, former acting White House chief of staff, criticised Donald Trump's decision to run for the presidency in 2024, saying that he is the "only Republican who can lose" the race.

In a CNN interview on Tuesday, Mulvaney discussed Trump's announcement that he was launching a bid to win back the presidency in 2024. Host Anderson Cooper asked Mulvaney if he thought the announcement was good news for the Republican Party.

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"No, I don't. Because I think he's the only Republican who could lose," Mulvaney said, adding that now that Trump's officially a candidate in the race he is likely to be the Republican nominee.

Mulvaney said that Trump could be defeated in a head-to-head race for the GOP nomination by a popular challenger, such as rising star Ron DeSantis, Florida's governor. However, under the Republican primary system, in which votes will be spread across several candidates, Trump will likely still get a greater percentage than any of his rivals, and will thus win the nomination, Mulvaney said.

He added that if Trump is the GOP's candidate the election won't be about core issues where President Joe Biden is vulnerable, such as inflation or education, but will instead be a referendum on Trump's popularity, which he'll lose.

"It will be about Donald Trump, the same thing we saw in 2020. No one voted for Joe Biden. Everybody voted for or against Donald Trump. It was a referendum on him," Mulvaney said.

Trump's 2024 announcement has been greeted with criticism by some Republicans, who blame the former president for the party's poor showing in the midterm elections.

Trump took a central role in those elections, endorsing hundreds of candidates — some of whom crashed to defeat in key races, meaning that Republicans failed to seize control of the Senate and won only a narrow House majority.

Mulvaney served as acting White House chief of staff from January 2019 to March 2020, and later resigned as an envoy to Northern Ireland after the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

He has more recently worked as an analyst for media organizations, where he has been critical of Trump's post-presidential bid to win back power.

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"I don't think this fight over elemental democracy is over, by any means," Frances Fox Piven said, cautioning against post-midterms complacency.In an interview with The Guardian published on Thursday, Frances Fox Piven — an academic once targeted and threatened by far-right figures — warned that Americans should not get complacent after the midterms, where a widely-anticipated red wave for the Republican Party failed to materialize. The GOP, though, did take control of the House.

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