יום שלישי, 15 בנובמבר 2016

The Resurgence of the Republicans?

What’s the state of the GOP after Trump’s upset victory? 4 top strategists weigh in.

Then we convened five top GOP strategists to discuss the future of their party back in June, the mood was glum. On the eve of a convention that would nominate an outsider to the top of the 2016 ticket—an unpredictable businessman who by then had alienated whole swaths of the Republican establishment—most of them chose the word “weak” to describe the Republican brand.

What a difference a presidential election makes.

When we assembled a similar group of GOP operatives and strategists on Friday—with two of the same people who had participated five months ago—the optimism was striking. The brand that had been weak in the summer was now “promising,” with “potential” to advance a conservative agenda—boosted, in their eyes, not only by wins in the White House and Congress but also by the Democratic Party’s insistence this election on campaigning against Trump the man, rather than the GOP platform. “There was no fight with Republicans over our message or our policies or our positions,” said Jeff Roe, former campaign manager for Ted Cruz.

And what about the party’s demographic future—a question that so haunted the Republicans back in 2008 and 2012? While they all acknowledged widespread appeal was important, these GOPers weren’t wringing their hands. It’s the Democratic Party, they pointed out, who have an inclusivity problem: “There’s been a lot of talk over the last eight years about how Republicans ... don’t go into inner cities and really understand the plight of people that are living in poverty,” said consultant Katie Packer. But “the Democrats don’t go into the communities where the Republican base vote we now know lives and is energized, to understand their real challenges.”

Susan Glasser, editor at Politico: Let’s just go ahead and start with the big elephant in the room, as it were. We’re still only a little bit more than 48 hours out from these astonishing election results, and I guess it would be a good kickoff to ask everybody how you’re feeling about President Trump and what you think it means for a Republican Party that is still divided.

Danny Diaz, former campaign manager for Jeb Bush: The credit goes to the victor and his team. They defied conventional wisdom. They defied the pundits and pretty much everyone in between, and they won in places where Republicans haven’t won in a really, really long time—basically reshaping the electoral map. And his team and the candidate understood that the sense of change was overarching within the electorate, and they seized on it, they drove it and, you know, they were awarded handsomely on Election Day.

Katie Packer, former deputy campaign manager to Mitt Romney: I also am struck by how fleeting all of this can be, because I remember just eight years ago there was a sense that President Obama had reshaped the electoral map and that this was the direction that the country was moving and that, you know, the kinds of liberal policies that President Obama espoused in his campaign were what the country was looking for and what the country wanted. And I think maybe what we saw is over the last eight years, that some of that was too much, too quickly, and so the American people really rejected that. As much as [the election] was an embrace of Trump’s version of government and leadership, it was also a real rejection of what the Democrats had to offer up and down the ballot. And so, I think it says something about how you manage that power and how you use that power and how quickly sentiments can flip. It’s a lesson for Republicans and for the new administration to look at that history and be mindful of, you know, leading the American public but not driving the American public.

Mike Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America: It’s important to look at a lot of the themes that he tapped into and the kind of economic anxiety of so much of America at a time when elites are doing well —in a low-growth environment that we’ve been in that’s not the shared experience of all Americans; there’s the sense that Washington works really well for those well-connected elites and that there’s a ruling class that gets its way and everyone else doesn’t get their voice heard or their priorities talked about; a breakdown of communities and families and churches and bowling leagues. Those are all problems that conservatism has great solutions for. The opportunity before us and the work that’s before us is to make sure that this moment of political and legislative potential is used in a real way to address those anxieties of today and connect our conservative principles to the lived experience of Americans in the present and how we go into the future, for a party that frankly too often has been stuck in the 1980s and sounding like Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, when people have different experiences today than their parents did 40 years ago.

Jeff Roe, former campaign manager for Ted Cruz: I was about to add, I wasn’t as surprised. It would be uncouth of me not to do my victory lap, that our firm accurately predicted Florida and Ohio and the margins in several of the states. And I think it sums it up best for me that I was at a football game on Sunday, and everybody in the suites was for Clinton and everybody in the seats was for Trump, and most people on calls like this and operatives around the country sit in suites at football games, and so they don’t—you know, there’s not a lot of opportunity to talk to real Americans. Real Americans have been angry for quite some time. There’s just not an election every day to express it.

And I think we have a good opportunity to return to the basics of what our party is about, which is working men and women and solutions for them, instead of the accepted tribalism with the Democrat elites. And so, you know, if Trump follows up on where his campaign took him and Congress has some solutions to fix the problems that he identified, then I think it could be—you know, I don’t want to get into permanent majorities because I think both Karl Rove and David Axelrod predicted both, so I don’t think we’re in a permanent anything, but I think this campaign cycle—not just the presidential—shows that the politicians failing to deliver and thinking they could fool the voters has probably come to a stop for a while, and I think largely that’s a good thing.

Glasser: Don’t we feel a little bit whipsawed, wondering how can a country that voted for Barack Obama also vote for Donald Trump just a short time later? It’s still the same divided country, right? I mean, the popular vote is going for Hillary Clinton. No matter what, it looks like this will end up being the closest presidential election since 1960, if not as close or closer than 1960—basically the closest presidential election ever. So, how much of a mandate is there or some kind of a huge shift, versus just a really surprising outcome that we now have to wrap our arms around? That’s a really important question as it goes to the issue of, well, on what basis is Trump going to govern this divided country.

Packer: Well, it is a divided country, but I always kind of push back on this popular vote versus electoral vote thing because the process that we run in is an Electoral College. And, so, you know, if Hillary Clinton was campaigning for the popular vote, then shame on her and her team. I don’t think they were.

So they lost, and certainly when you look at the Electoral College map, it’s a significant mandate. The challenge is going to be in large part within the Republican Party, because certainly, the Trump administration is going to feel a mandate, but many of the folks in Congress, at least during the campaign, didn’t really buy into what it was that he was campaigning on. So, there is going to have to be some coming together between the administration and the Congress to try to create a shared list of priorities that can be accomplished that isn’t going to cause those that elected President-elect Trump to feel that they’re not getting what they voted for. And it’s also going to be an agenda that can pass Congress.

Needham: It’s also worth figuring out: Where are the American people closely divided and where are they not? Many, many Americans feel that in their communities, on their block, amongst their friends and neighbors, there’s a lot of unity, there’s a lot of ability to problem-solve and pull together and get things done. The problem is when you have power accumulated in the federal government to the extent that it has been, where people look at decisions in terms of health care or any of these laws that are being made in Washington and forced on the rest of the country. When people look at executive actions, that without even the consent of the government through Congress are being imposed on them; on a court that in health care has taken the clear word “penalty” and defined it as tax; it’s taken positions on age-old institutions and saying that contrary opinions can only be due to quote “irrational animus.” And so, I think part of the policy mandate is let’s stop having these high-stakes contentious battles in Washington D.C. over every aspect of life and let’s give some of that power, let’s give some of that opportunity, back to things that still work, which is people’s communities and their friends and their neighbors.

Diaz: With respect to where the party is, a lot of attention is paid on election night to—obviously and appropriately—the presidential and majorities in Congress. Oftentimes way down stream, people look at where the state legislatures stand and where the elected leadership in these states stand. And by any reasonable assessment, the Republican Party’s in an incredibly strong position: 69 of 99 legislative chambers, 31 out of 45 LGs, 31 out of 50 secretaries of state, the largest majority among governors in nearly a hundred years. So, you know, a lot is being written today about the Dem bench and where they go and all of that. And I think if you look underneath the hood, there are a lot of strong conservatives in these states and there’s a very strong party apparatus in these states, a lot of which was eclipsed in the conversation leading up to the presidential. So, there is an opportunity here, from the perspective of conservative governance.

Glasser: So now the Democrats obviously are having a huge internal rift—but are we just going to paper over the very real divide that emerged into a series of huge fissures inside the Republican Party during 2016? What happens to the “NeverTrumpers” now, and what should happen to them? Do you guys remain in principled opposition?

Packer: Well, if you read Politico today, I’m at the top of the blacklist. [Laughter] No, I mean, our reservations about him as a candidate don’t turn off overnight. But I am a very strong believer in American democracy, and you fight these battles in campaigns and then you put it to the people, and the people have a voice. And the people made their voice heard on Tuesday. And so, my belief is once that happens, then we all becomes Americans. Whatever my personal feelings about Donald Trump as a human being, he’s now the president of our country. And I have great respect for the office, and I’m willing to give him a chance. And I—frankly I felt the same way with every president that’s been elected in this country, that we owe it to them to give them a chance, and then we make decisions about how we support or object to their policies. Once they’re in office, once they’re actually pursuing an agenda, then of course it’s within our right to hold them accountable. But my feeling is that, you know, my criticisms of Trump as a presidential candidate, that’s on Tuesday night, and now we have to come together to try to do something good for the American people.

Needham: I think the real divide in the Republican Party for the last six years has been between a political class that’s thrived off defining down the art of the possible to expectations that were so low they couldn’t help but trip over them, and telling the rest of us who were trying to engage in aspirational politics that we would repeal and replace Obamacare, that we would hold off on Justice Scalia’s replacement until the American people could have their voice heard, and a political establishment that described that type of aspirational politics as setting expectations so high that we were bound to fail, of giving the American people expectations that were unrealistic. And we now see that all of those aspirational goals are achievable and that the American people and that Republican voters took to Donald Trump because he said, “I can get things done. I can help you.” And that’s the opposite of what they’ve heard out of the Republican Party for so long. And so, I think that really the path forward for the party and the path forward for unity is to come up with ambitious goals, to explain them to the American people, to win the argument—which you can only have if you start the argument. And in doing that, we can actually get a lot of things done and make life better for people, and that’s the task that’s before us.

Glasser: Danny, do the rifts just go away?

Diaz: No, and I don’t think anybody would say that within a party, call it even a family, that there aren’t disagreements. There always are. But there also comes now responsibility with the decision that the people have made and the authority that’s been rendered here to address the issues that are of great concern. Obamacare. Obviously, the president-elect spoke to that. The economy, tax reform. He addressed immigration as well yesterday. So, a responsibility now to enact an agenda that they campaigned on and that the American people made a decision based on, I think that’s kind of where it moves, and among us to try and achieve gains here that benefit everyone, whether you supported the new president or not.

Roe: He got what every Republican gets from their party, the same percentages, you know, as Reagan, both Bushes, Romney, McCain. And so, I think #NeverTrump people are just like every other group. You know, many people thought that McCain and Romney left Republicans on the table because they were too moderate. People think that Trump left Republicans on the table because he didn’t align with their values personally.

But with all due respect to people who were in that group, the never Trump folks were like left-handed shortstops. There were few enough of them that you knew most their names. And the real split from an angle of policy that I can see that has been somewhat proffered by the Trump campaign is on trade. Outside of trade, I mean, he’s kind of historically a normal candidate on policy.

Now, many of the people who didn’t vote for him would suggest that you can’t trust him, and so we right now get to have a real-time analysis of whether you can or not. But from a policy position statement, if you believe what he campaigned on, there’s much less distance between him and the, you know, 10 to 15 percent of Republicans that didn’t vote for him than there is on Hillary Clinton and the 10 to 15 percent of Democrats that didn’t vote for her.

And so, they do have a bigger problem than we do. One, because they lost. But the second reason is because they have become almost exclusively, because of Obama, a coastal, inner-city party. When you take a look at where their votes come from—and there was a theory of the case for the Cruz campaign, which is that the base is where you can motivate, and presidential campaigns are base elections—but when you take a look at where the votes came from and where they competed, the Democrats didn’t even compete outside of urban areas, largely along the coast.

And so, the theory that Obama projected and they spent eight years executing against, with great success for him and no success for any other Democrat, is that you can completely ignore the rest of the country and you can hyper-politicize with nonwhites and drive the turnout to such extreme numbers in those subgroups that you can get to 50 percent plus 1, and in those subgroups make the referendum against the Republican. And so, because of that and because now they just set an entire agenda of an entire presidential campaign against another candidate’s temperament, we didn’t have a Social Security debate or grandma going over the cliff on Medicare or, you know, too extreme on abortion or guns—they didn’t do any of the typical Democrat playbook. So, now they’re now left with they didn’t even attack the policies of Republicans. They just attacked the person. So, that is an additional problem that they have, because if Trump walks and chews gum and doesn’t call people dirty names, then people are going to wonder what all the fuss was about..

Our problem—which is not insignificant—is how we handle trade going forward. Do you handle it in a Trump campaign fashion, or do we return to historical norms, that Republicans believe in free trade, and we just make the trade relationship a little better and the deal better for America?

So, I don’t see any other wide-sweeping policy differences. I think we have a difference in execution between what Danny’s candidate Jeb Bush, what my candidate Ted Cruz and what their approach would be. But I bet there wasn’t, in retrospect, maybe any policy difference.

Packer: Well, the wall was pretty significant.

Glasser: Yes, are you guys going to build the wall?

Roe: I think when you hear Donald Trump say a “wall,” you kind of get [the idea of] a gold-plated thing. I don’t think protecting our country and immigration, border security—every Republican that I hear—because they all say the same things—says we have to secure our border first.

Packer: Yes, I agree with that. But I didn’t hear any of the other candidates campaigning on building a wall. But that said, I think something that Jeff said is really an interesting point about how the Democrats didn’t really compete outside of the cities. You know, there’s been a lot of talk over the last eight years about how Republicans don’t go into the black community, they don’t go into the Latino community, don’t go into inner cities and really understand the plight of people that are living in poverty. But there’s never really been any real sort of interest by the media in particular at the fact that the Democrats are guilty of the same thing, that the Democrats don’t go into the communities where the Republican base vote we now know lives and is energized, to understand their real challenges.

And I do think that there are things that were done during the Obama administration—you know, obviously forcing through Obamacare with no Republican support and no consensus was sort of the signature thing, but even things like the day of the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, bathing the White House in a rainbow flag. I think for many people living in middle America who didn’t celebrate that moment—whether that’s right or wrong, you know, there’s plenty of debate over that—but for many of those people, it seemed like a stick in the eye to the values that they subscribed to. And for that kind of in your face demonstration to occur I think did stir something in people that felt like, you know, this administration and this party didn’t understand them.

But we can’t ignore the fact that for the Democrats, this was a very personality-driven campaign as well. This election may have turned out differently had the person at the top of the ticket not been Hillary Clinton, who was so reviled by so many that it could have been a different outcome and that, in two years when, you know, Republicans are running to hold onto the Congress, we’re not going to have these two big personalities at the top of the ticket, and we are going to have to run on policies and achievements and philosophy, it’s going to be important for Republicans to not mistake what happened this week for a perfect strategy.

Needham: The point about our nation’s coastal elites is worth sticking on for a second. In 1910 there was a book of photojournalism called “How the Other Half Lives,” that helped explain to the elites on the Upper East Side of Manhattan what was going on in the tenements on the Lower East Side, and it caused a civic reawakening, where families like the Rockefellers and others invested in libraries and schools and actually took agency for helping bring the country together. And there are a lot of Americans who believe—and believe correctly—that for our nation’s elites, they view them as deplorable. They think that they stick to their guns and their religion. I grew up in Manhattan. There are plenty of people in Manhattan who have never met an evangelical Christian, or somebody who homeschools, or somebody who owns a gun, and look down their nose at them. And I think that this country is dividing right now between a kind of coastal ruling class and a country class. And if there’s not a civic reawakening—people in the media and in the elite circles, our nation’s philanthropic class who frequently seems more interested in Africa than their own country—if there’s not that civic reawakening, we are heading towards a very, very dangerous place.

Glasser: Four years ago, there was a huge soul-searching in the Republican Party: How can we be a party that is only made up of the people in the middle and not speaking to the people in our cities and not speaking to the rising tide of Latinos and other minorities who will occupy an increasing place in the country in the coming decades? Obviously, that was not the playbook that Donald Trump chose to run on in 2016—quite the reverse. Many were very passionate about that in the course of the primary campaign, that that was a strategic mistake for the party. I’m wondering how that feels now. If Democrats have this problem of no longer speaking passionately and in clear policy terms toward the angsty white working class, what about the Republican Party’s problem in speaking to a rising tide of minorities and other immigrants to the country? Is that something that you guys are putting aside for now?

Roe: Well, I guess it depends on how you want to solve the problem. We’ve been running patrician elites for president for quite some time, and even winning with them. And this year the most pronounced ability to speak to working-class people came, oddly enough, from a Manhattan billionaire.

But we also have, you know, on a debate stage, two 45-year-old Cuban Americans, an African-American candidate, a female candidate. It’s always funny that the critique is how are you going to win by not getting enough of 30 percent of the population, instead of to the Democrats: How are you going to win without working towards the 70 percent of the population?

I understand the point and the critique, and we need to be mindful. But I think the first way to do it is to stop talking about it in racial overtones and stop talking about things in patrician elite fashion. The same issues that Hispanics and blacks and Muslims and Indian Americans have are the same as anybody else has. And so, the overtures and the fake-it and go-have-a-roundtable-in-Detroit-to-talk-about-your-African-American outreach is more of an insult than campaigning on a shared a set of values, which is American exceptionalism and get government out of the way so people can go to work every morning. And so, I think there can be style points given, but the reality is that much less separates us besides these niche issues, which even from a percentage standpoint—you know, just speaking of gay marriage deals with 3 percent of the population—when everybody probably cares less about that than they do to have a job to wake up to the next day.

Of everything else that Trump did, he blew out of the water [this notion] that what everybody in the world cares about are these issues that divide us, instead of the issues that unite us.

Diaz: When you look at the exit polling, Clinton had an 80-point advantage with African-Americans. Obama had an 87-point advantage. Trump got, what, around 8? I think George W. Bush got 11. She got 65 percent of Latinos, compared to Obama’s 71. Trump got around 30, 29. Some people dispute that. Mitt was 27. McCain was 31. W was 44. Union households, I want to say that she had the worst performance among them, since Mondale, beating him by, like, only 8. And the reality is that there was resonance in that message across the board. You can see it.

Trump’s going to be graded on what he does. He’s going to be graded by these communities in four years on what his administration has followed through on and whether they agree with it or not, and the choice between that versus whoever runs on the Democratic side. So, once again, it gets back to what I was saying at the outset: the responsibility in how to govern, to lead, to get things done, and to follow through on what was discussed during the campaign that people voted on.

Needham: The issues that are important in rural or rust belt America—economic anxiety, issues of community and family breakdown, of crime, of drug abuse—are issues that also matter in inner cities. And the answer is absolutely yes: Republicans need to care. Republicans need to show up and speak, but not in a way that the 2012 GOP autopsy looked back on and said, you know, let’s figure out how can we treat identity groups as identity groups and give them something that they care about, but speak to issues that are broad and are felt by all Americans and are issues that manifest themselves in different but similar ways in different communities.

Glasser: So, let’s pivot to the question of what, then, is the governing going to look like, if that’s really where Trump is going to be judged. What do we make of him ideologically right now and how much he is or isn’t a good fit with the center of gravity in the Republican Party in Congress? There’s a report this morning that once again suggests Trump is telling people he’ll govern as “a pragmatist” rather than a hardline movement conservative. What do you believe is the new sort of philosophy that will shape the party going forward?

Packer: One of the things that I found interesting about Trump throughout this campaign is that he seemed to be something of a Rorschach test for people, that a lot of people that ultimately supported him saw what they wanted to see in him. If you were a Trump supporter early on in the primaries, and you were pro-life, you believed he was pro-life. If your most important issue was immigration and building a wall and deporting every undocumented immigrant, then you believed that he was going to deliver on all of those things.

And I think the real answer to your question, Susan, is we don’t really know. Obviously, he doesn’t have a record on any of these things, which is unprecedented in modern political history. But his rhetoric has been in a lot of different places.

But I do think that there’s a real challenge for him because he’s made very definitive promises. One of the criticisms I had for him during the campaign was that it was easy to run on Trump’s agenda because he didn’t feel bound by having a plan or an ability to actually execute on a lot of his big strong pronouncements. But there are going to be, I think, a lot of voters in all of these different camps who in four years, if we don’t have a wall or at least have initiated an actual physical wall, are going to be very disappointed. We’re going to have a lot of people who, if we haven’t rounded up all of the undocumented immigrants, are going to feel very disappointed; a lot of people who if his Supreme Court appointments are not, you know, exactly in the image of Scalia, as was promised, are going to be disappointed; and a lot of people who if we don’t repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood—these are big agenda items that were campaign promises. And he’s got a Republican team now that’s going to be expected to deliver on all of those things.

Glasser: Mike, what does it look like on Capitol Hill dealing with Trump?

Needham: Well, I think conservative solutions are the pragmatic solutions. Obamacare is imploding upon itself, and repealing it and replacing it with something that empowers patients and their doctors is the right way to make America great. On the Supreme Court, the list that he put out is a great list of pragmatic people who respect the rule of law and care about the Constitution. And so, if he follows through on those promises, if he follows through on what he said yesterday, in terms of focusing on the Supreme Court or on health care, jobs, and border security, then, you know, that’s an agenda. And I think that Capitol Hill will follow his lead if he’s following through on those promises.

Roe: He reacts to those around him. He has a lot of conservatives around him now. He picked a conservative running mate, so I believe he will hew to that direction. But I think he will be willing to negotiate with Congress to get things done. Motion may be confused for progress occasionally, but that is not unusual in Washington. I think there will be a lot of motion. And I think he’ll have some of his big issues, critical issues that he’ll find partners with in Congress. I mean, he was elected because he could help the economy and help get people back to work. And so, if they did a jobs bill in Congress, I think he’d get, like—minus the Freedom Caucus, and that would depend on how many pennies that they put in it—he would pass a jobs bill in a second, with probably nearly unanimous support. If he could find a way to tailor a “drain the swamp” agenda that didn’t, you know, gore the ox too much of incumbents, then he could pass that in a nanosecond. Those are things just right out of the gate— and the third being what to do on immigration, particularly as it relates to border security. If they could have a border security-only bill, that would pass with, I mean, I’m talking about 75 percent-plus support. So, if you take those three issues, he does those in the first year or so, fights strongly with the Senate on a conservative Supreme Court nominee, I mean, he could have a hell of a term. And those are things that have widespread support, that if you stripped the labels off politicians, they’d all run on the same type of issues.

And so, the devil’s in the details. There will be people who won’t want enterprise zones in the inner cities in a jobs bill. There will be those that do. Obviously, there will be legislative logjams, and there should be because that’s the way the process should work. And I think he’ll be forcing it to get done more than focusing on the devil in the details too much, and so I think there will be pretty good autonomy between the legislative branch and the executive branch because he’ll want to get big things done. They’ll want to make sure the details are right. And that’s kind of the way the process should work. And I think that his proclivities on getting it done rather than sweating the details will probably make a difference between the way he and other presidents have gone through the process. Look at Obama, who was just going to get health care and Obamacare done. And what it said, he was pretty amenable to, as long as it spoke to his core philosophies. I think Trump will be the same way, and actually maybe a little bit more that way, and put more juice with Congress to get the details right, because he just wants to get it done. So, that gives wide latitude to Congress to do their job, and when you have the majority, I think that’s the way it should go.

Packer: One more issue that I think would be not hugely controversial and would speak to a huge swath of the American public would be if he could reach out to people that opposed him or weren’t enthusiastic about him, like John McCain, and actually execute a total overhaul of our VA system that has so let down our veterans community. There would be a real opportunity there for people to come together on something that Americans are very, very passionate about..

Glasser: When we convened some of the people in this group in June, I asked at the end: What is the current state of the Republican Party brand today? And what was striking is that basically every single person, even across your disagreements with each other on various issues, used the word “weak” as the one word. I’m curious: what is everybody’s one word right now?

Packer: Foggy. And the reason that I say that is I’m not sure that this election necessarily strengthens the Republican brand. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I mean, it did strengthen the Republican brand, but I think that this was much more of a referendum on Trump than it was a referendum on the Republican Party. So, Trump now legitimately is the leader of the Republican Party, and the Republican brand will become the Trump brand. And, you know, I think that it’s just a little bit foggy right now.

Needham: Potential. I mean, I think that the problem with the Republican brand for so long has been it was a backwards-looking brand to the problems and questions of 1980. And what Trump has done is, by being the first post-Reagan nominee for president—and now president-elect—who has spoken to people’s economic anxiety, their sense of communities falling apart, of disconnectedness from Washington and the ruling class. And now is the opportunity to provide solutions and to connect principle to those central governing questions of today. And if that can be done and if the follow-through happens, then I think you have the potential for a conservative resurgence and a conservative connection to what people are feeling today that creates the next moment that transcends a presidency and kind of defines an epoch.

Diaz: I was going to say promising.

Roe: I think it’s intact, and I think it’s to be defined, of course, on what his administration looks like.

But I don’t want this to be lost: The Democrats just ran an entire national campaign, from the statehouse to the White House, with the unifying message of being against Trump and linking people to a candidate that got over 300 electoral votes. There was no fight with Republicans over our message or our policies or our positions. There was no case against us based on extremism. So, because of that, we are intact. They could have had a serious referendum on that, but instead they decided to make it a personality contest. And they were woefully unarmed at the presidential level to have a personality battle. So now we get to have the tapestry of the Republican Party, from all its forms and facets, and we have the opportunity to go forward collectively and build upon one of the strongest majorities in generations. And so, it’s intact. It wasn’t even attacked during a presidential year, which is unusual, and now we get to grow it and build it in a cohesive way. Instead of what was previously under a Democratic administration, you know, ripped apart at the seams. It’s now intact—and Danny’s was a great word—and can be very promising.

אין תגובות:

הוסף רשומת תגובה