Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Trump aides and allies push for a post-South Carolina ‘pivot’

By 37ci3 Feb25,2024



COLUMBIA, SC — A growing number of Donald Trump’s top advisers are urging him to focus less on personal grievances and instead target President Joe Biden and unify the Republican Party.

According to nine top Trump aides and allies who spoke to NBC News, the effort to address broader issues comes as the campaign looks ahead to Super Tuesday and the general election. Trump’s Team victory in South Carolina Nikki Haley is another example of an undeniable political reality: Trump will be the GOP nominee.

“There’s no doubt there will be a turnaround after Saturday, because there has to be,” said a senior adviser to the former president. “From our point of view, there is such a thought that he [Haley] he can do whatever he wants. He can do anything, we don’t care.”

Follow live updates in South Carolina here.

The goal is to focus on bringing the Republican Party together after the fraudulent primary, the adviser said, but the person acknowledged that Trump’s trademark pugilistic style and tendency to go off-script will continue, especially when discussing his mounting legal troubles.

“We can’t completely distance ourselves from what’s going on in his personal life,” the adviser said. “It’s going to happen every day and he’s a fighter and he’s going to talk about it. Everyone understands this.”

While Trump maintains a lead in the polls for the Republican race, the potential general election matchup with Biden — where voters may care less about his personal grievances — remains tight. NBC News survey.

This was evident in the turnaround attempt Trump’s victory speech in South CarolinaHe took a shot at Biden, who didn’t mention Haley once, and made the GOP’s message of unity clear. It was a stark contrast to his performance in New Hampshire, where he repeatedly mocked Haley for losing and having a “very bad night.”

“There has never been a spirit like this,” Trump said Saturday night in South Carolina. “I have never seen the Republican Party so united.”

Trump is very hard to argue with and he rarely sticks to the script. It is unclear if he will be ready to rebuild.

But two people involved in conversations around the potential pivot said the topic was being discussed in internal campaign discussions. The idea is to make the campaign “more about issues and less about personality,” said one of those people who doubted Trump had the discipline to pull it off.

Advocates for Trump’s marriage to a less divisive message point to his speech after his landslide victory in Iowa as proof of his ability.

“Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative, it would be great if we could come together,” Trump told supporters in Des Moines after winning the general election.

David Urban, a Republican strategist who served as Trump’s campaign adviser in 2016 and 2020, said the speech in Iowa should be a model moving forward — even if Trump has shown at times that he can’t stick to that tone, such as in his post-reelection victory speech. Hampshire primer where he returns to fighting style.

Urban said Trump’s speech in Iowa was about “focusing on the general election,” but “in New Hampshire you saw a little bit of distraction and a lot more pugilism.”

“One, two, it serves him better,” Urban said.

“Especially in this compare-and-contrast race, Trump should take Biden at his word: ‘Don’t compare me to the almighty; Compare me to the alternative,” Urban said. “Trump should compare his record with Biden’s. … There was a sense that America was on the right track. Now there is a feeling that America is on the wrong track.”

Donald Trump Jr. told NBC News that he is “trying to talk about the issues as well.” But then he went on to talk about the various legal cases his father has faced, stressing that breaking old habits can be difficult.

The fact that the former president often focuses on his own problems and complaints has attracted the attention of his opponents.

On Thursday, Haley said one of the things that “concerns” her about Trump is that he often “talks about being a victim — he’s never talked about the American people.”

“All he does is talk about himself,” she said. “That’s the problem – it’s not about him. It’s about the American people.”

“Trump Steaks, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Tower, Trump University — it’s always about him,” said an aide close to the Biden campaign. “Never about the people he claims to care about. And that’s why he’s going to lose to Joe Biden again — nobody wants to vote for someone who doesn’t care about them.”

Part of any change effort would be to shift the spotlight away from focusing on Haley, his Republican challenger. promised to stay in the race Although many party leaders, including Trump, called on him to leave the party, he passed South Carolina.

“Trump must formulate his agenda for the second term. It’s going to convince swing voters to come over to our side,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who now supports Trump after DeSantis dropped out of the presidential race. “Grievance points make for good TV, but are not what will win general elections.”

“The Republican Party and the country have passed Nikki,” said another Trump adviser, who was among those urging Trump to change his focus.

Even some Trump voters hope he will turn his attention to the general election.

“I’m tired of his mouth. But his policies worked,” said Scott Penabaker, 67, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who voted for Trump in 2016, 2020 and 2024.

But so far, this transition has been difficult.

within one Friday night performance Columbia, to the Black Conservative Federation in South Carolina, Trump he continued to whine about his legal troubles, including four indictments with 91 separate criminal charges.

“I was accused a second time, a third time, and a fourth time, and a lot of people said that’s why black people love me because they’ve been hurt and discriminated against so badly and they actually see me for who I am. discriminated against,” Trump told the audience.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia and Trump’s top congressional ally, agreed that Trump should focus on the general election.

“I want to see President Trump focus on Joe Biden. Nikki Haley … is totally untrustworthy and untrustworthy,” he said. “She’s not even in the conversation. That was evident when I was on the ground in South Carolina.”

He said issues like immigration, inflation and foreign policy, and conservatives’ perception that the federal government is weaponized against them, are all issues that Trump now regularly discusses, but he said progress should be even more focused.

“Honestly, one of my messages to Democrats is this: They need to understand that attacking President Trump is an abuse of power,” Greene said. “And it’s scary, and it should be scary. This should not happen.”

While most Trump supporters understand he will never let go of his aggressive style, some believe his desire to return to the White House could help blunt some of his harshest instincts.

“I’m not telling you that Donald Trump has been humiliated and nurtured, but I feel and see that when you wake up in Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster – as beautiful as those places are – they are not the Oval Office,” said a Trump adviser. “There is a confession that I am not there. The other is the president.”



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