- Trump said Republicans should “probably” fear him if their views aren’t in line with his.
- He referred to his endorsement record as “unparalleled.”
- However, some Trump candidates have still struggled in their races despite his backing.
Former President Donald Trump this week appeared to issue a warning that Republicans not aligned with him would lose their races if they did not correct course.
Trump made the comments during an interview with David Brody on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s television program “The 700 Club.” Brody asked Trump how he thought the upcoming elections would play out and “how much stock” he would put in recent wins for the candidates he’s endorsed — particularly Ohio senate candidate JD Vance, who won his primary early this week.
Trump endorsed several candidates the GOP might view as risky, including Vance and Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose primary is later this month. Oz currently holds a slight 3-point lead against his fellow Republican candidates.
However, other Trump-backed candidates, including Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue, have struggled to keep up in their races. Perdue is 26 points behind his GOP rival, Brian Kemp, according to some pollsters. In the Idaho gubernatorial primary, Trump backed Janice McGeachin, who is trailing by around 40 points behind incumbent Gov. Brad Little in the polls. And one of the candidates Trump endorsed, Sean Parnell, a GOP candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate, was forced to drop out of the race after allegations of domestic violence emerged.
Still, according to The Washington Post, 42 of the 43 candidates Trump’s endorsed who have primaried already have won their races.
“My record is unparalleled, my endorsements, it’s totally unparalleled. Nobody’s ever had a record like this. I’m almost unblemished,” Trump told Brody.
“Should Republicans be afraid of you, the ones that are not in line with you and your views?” Brody asked.
“Well, if they want to win politically, probably,” Trump said. “Because if I endorsed them, they win, and if I don’t endorse them, they don’t win. I mean, that’s almost 100% of the case.”
But the spate of wins may not be as much due to Trump as it is to preexisting party affiliations in areas where his endorsements are running.
As The Post’s Aaron Blake noted: “He has overwhelmingly endorsed candidates who were going to win anyway.” Most of the candidates he’s endorsed who have already won their primaries were incumbents, Blake added.
Trump has made 160 endorsements since leaving office, per Ballotpedia, the bulk of which still have yet to play out. If his candidates win, it will cement his status as a Republican kingmaker.
“I understand where the base is. I love the base and the base loves me,” Trump told Brody.