- Trump has made his endorsements a cornerstone of his post-presidential life.
- But Americans on Tuesday dealt devastating blows to his brand by rejecting key candidates in closely-contested races.
- Dr. Mehmet Oz and Don Bolduc lost. While JD Vance is headed for the Senate and Herschel Walker will fight on through a runoff.
Donald Trump ensured he was on the ballot Tuesday night as the self-described "king of endorsements." But he apparently wasn't a kingmaker.
GOP Rep. Mo Brooks says it would be a 'bad mistake' to nominate Trump as the party's 2024 presidential nominee, calling his onetime ally 'incompetent' and 'crude'
"Trump has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents," Brooks said.While speaking with AL.com, Brooks — who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama this year and has said he will retire from politics after his term ends in January 2023 — sharply criticized Trump following a midterm election cycle where GOP gains were muted and a conservative-led red wave never materialized on a national level.
So far, Americans have dealt devastating blows to his brand by rejecting key candidates in closely-contested races. Rather than a so-called "red wave," results were still unclear on Wednesday. Republicans are likely to win control of the House but the Senate is still in play for both parties.
Former reality TV star Mehmet Oz was one of Trump's picks who could have helped Republicans hang onto a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, but he lost to Democrat John Fetterman. Republicans hoped retired Army General Don Bolduc, another Trump endorsee, could have flipped a Senate seat in New Hampshire. Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan won re-election.
Republican Herschel Walker, meanwhile, will fight on through a Georgia runoff. In a win for Trump, author JD Vance heads to the Senate from Ohio.
Donald Trump announces his 2024 presidential campaign as GOP debates future: recap
Donald Trump announced he will run for the White House, even as weak midterm showings prompt debate about whether the GOP should move past him."I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," Trump said during an announcement speech at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Fla.
The legally challenged, twice-impeached former president put great effort into continuing to rebrand the Republican Party, making more than 250 general election endorsements, according to Ballotpedia. He is expected to formally announce his own candidacy soon.
True to form, Trump began the night by already trying to craft an exit strategy from the torrent of criticism he may face for his role in the GOP's struggles. "I think if they win, I should get all the credit, and if they lose, I should not be blamed at all," Trump told NewsNation during an interview on Tuesday.
He blamed Bolduc's loss on his 2020 election pivots. "Don Bolduc was a very nice guy, but he lost tonight when he disavowed, after his big primary win, his longstanding stance on Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Primary," Trump wrote on Truth Social. "Had he stayed strong and true, he would have won, easily. Lessons Learned!!!"
Trumpflation causes MAGA products to skyrocket in price
Red "Make America Great Again" caps, Trump t-shirts, and campaign bumper stickers are much more expensive than they used to be.And now that he's running for president again in 2024, he's continuing his fundraising ways for his new presidential campaign committee.
As Republican's struggles began to mount, the knives for Trump began to come out.
"If you want the Republican Party to thrive, we've got to just finally speak out and say, 'This man is a loser, he lost 2020, he's losing a seat that is winnable this time," former Trump aide Alyssa Farah Griffin said on CNN.
By Wednesday's early morning hours, Trump was spinning the elections as "A GREAT EVENING" on Truth Social, and blaming the media and Democrats for downplaying it.
Here's how some of his most high profile endorsees fared.