Donald Trump rose to the White House in 2016 on the shoulders of a small army of right-wing media figures: Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and cast members Fox & Friends, to name a few, strengthened Trump’s candidacy for their viewers and readers. But in a potential sign of changing winds, such a devotee seems to falter: Laura Ingraham, who fervently supported Trump in the past but will not yet commit to him in 2024. Instead, she appears to be keeping her options open while the GOP’s primary field shakes out.
“I’m not saying I’m there for him yet,” Ingraham said in an interview with Northern Virginia Magazine, comment on whether she will back Trump in 2024. “But I think he’s running or not – I mean, his policies worked. Trump’s plan for politics – a forward-looking, optimistic set of pro-American policies – that plan will no doubt win. ” These latest Ingraham comments come weeks after the release of text messages she sent to Mark Meadows on January 6, when she expressed clear unrest over the Capitol riot. Trump needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. It hurts us all. He is destroying his legacy, ”she urged the then Chief of Staff of the White House.
If Trump decides to run for president again – he told Fox News in November he “definitely thought about it” – he may not be able to trust his usual promoters, including Ingraham. He will instead likely face competition in 2024 from his party. Like my colleague Charlotte Klein told Monday, Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis, who could be ready for his own presidential election has reportedly angered Trump for his unwillingness to resign if the former president is re-elected. “If [DeSantis] would line up, that’s okay with me, ”Trump said in a recent interview with a Florida radio station. “I think we would win a lot.”
Ingraham is not the only believer to change his tune this time. Ann Coulter, author of the 2016 campaign book I Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome !, has made her disappointment with Trump’s presidency known for quite some time. She has recently taken to openly declaring the end of his political life. “Trump is done,” Coulter said New York Times in the weekend. “You should not occupy him.” The author’s comments were published as part of a Times story describing the rising tensions between Trump and DeSantis – a rivalry in which Coulter has already taken sides. After Trump appeared to be targeting DeSantis by calling politicians who refuse to say whether they received a COVID-19 booster shot “powerless”, Coulter responded by calling the former president a “liar and deceiver”.
Trump is also in the unusual position that he is not radical enough for some conservatives who are conspiring in the issue of COVID-19 vaccines, which he has supported. During a December interview with the Daily Wire host Candace Owens, Trump said that “the vaccine is one of humanity’s greatest achievements” and highlighted the health risks that unvaccinated people face. After Owens suggested people die from the vaccine, Trump shot the claim down. Days after publishing the interview, Owens, who built his media brand on Trump retweets and wearing MAGA hats, claimed that Trump is only a pro-vaccine because he is too “old” to conduct his own “independent research” on the Internet. . She continued her criticism of Trump by saying he is too dependent “on typical mainstream sources.”
The Republican who have attracted Owens’ praise? DeSantis, which she because of her opposition to basic pandemic mitigation measures painted in August as a freedom fighter who opposes the CDC’s “attempt to radically transform America into a totalitarian state.” Even Infowars, a right-wing news outlet that gave passionate support to Trump during the 2016 election, appears ready to jump off the Trump train in favor of DeSantis because of the former president’s vaccine comments. “[Do we] will you support him any longer? ” asked Infowar’s host Owen Shroyer last month. As Klein notes, DeSantis is in part following an “anti-science book set in motion by Trump.” But even if some of Trump’s supporters like his drawings, that does not mean they are ready to commit to the man himself.
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