Marc Lotter to Newsmax: Trump GOP 'Champ' Until Beaten (Newsmax/"American Agenda")
By Jay Clemons | Monday, 14 November 2022 04:19 PM EST
Marc Lotter, communications director for the America First Policy Institute, didn't spend much time in a recent interview projecting which hypothetical Republican Party candidates might serve as "serious" challengers to former President Donald Trump in the 2024 GOP presidential primaries.
"I'll use a boxing analogy here: To be the champ, you've got to beat the champ. And if you want to get in that ring [for 2024], you're going to have to knock [Trump] out," Lotter told Newsmax on Monday, while appearing on "American Agenda" with host Bob Sellers.
"Our polling tells us that Trump is still the prohibitive favorite," to secure the GOP's 2024 nomination, said Lotter. "[Trump] energizes people. He brings new leadership into the Republican Party."
Lotter, who directed communications for Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, acknowledged that DeSantis has built national support in recent months due to success in leading Florida through the pandemic shutdown and multiple hurricanes.
But Lotter said DeSantis still must weigh the pros and cons of entering the 2024 race as a direct Trump opponent, as opposed to waiting until 2028 and potentially picking up a large faction of Trump's electoral base.
"The other [Republican] candidates need to think about that. They also need to consider whether they can mount a serious campaign," said Lotter. "Part of the answer lies in putting your name on the ballot and giving it a shot."
During Monday's interview, Newsmax analyst Mark Halperin said Trump remains the GOP's most popular asset. However, after last week's midterm elections, instead of being an "800-pound gorilla," Halperin joked it might be just a "600-pound gorilla."
Lotter said Trump has plenty of momentum, and that could be conveyed in Tuesday's speculative presidential-announcement speech.
"I would expect [Trump] to highlight the results [of his presidency from 2017-21], and comparing the results of our country with President Trump, and the 'America First' leadership … compared to what we've got today," Lotter said.
"And it's pretty clear. The differences are dramatic," said Lotter, while adding that when Trump left office in January 2021, the U.S. had low inflation, low gas and food prices, and there was "no embarrassment" in Afghanistan — a swipe at President Joe Biden's handling of the August 2021 withdrawal from that country.
Lotter added: "My advice would be to lean-in to the successes he had [in office]. … [Trump] should make the case of Are you better off now than you were two or three years ago? The answer is no."
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