Charlie Hurt: Establishment Republicans Are Wrong to Blame Donald Trump for Midterm Losses

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The Republican establishment is wrong to blame former President Donald Trump for losses in Tuesday’s midterm elections, Washington Times Opinion Editor Charlie Hurt said on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

In a wide-ranging interview, much of discussion centered on former President Trump and his role in the midterms. Hurt said that Trump-backed candidates like Ohio’s new Senator-elect J.D. Vance and Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis were victorious because they ran strong campaigns on MAGA issues.

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Hurt rejected the idea that establishment Republicans have a case for blaming Trump for midterm losses. He noted that the Republican establishment does not have a great track record with picking winners. For example, former Sens. Martha McSally of Arizona and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia had been handpicked by the Republican establishment to fill vacant Senate seats in red states, but both of them lost their re-election bids in 2020 to Democrats.

“These are two candidates who didn’t even have to face voters,” Hurt said. “It gives them the greatest advantage that any senator has in a Senate race, which is incumbency. And both of those women, who were handpicked by establishment Republicans and dropped in the Senate seats, couldn’t hold on to their seats.”

He continued, “So yes, you can blame Donald Trump if you want to, for one lost seat in Georgia, [but] we would not have [Georgia’s Democrat Sen.] Raphael Warnock if not for establishment Republicans dropping a terrible candidate in Kelly Loeffler into that seat.”

Former President Donald Trump stands with former first lady Melania Trump as he speaks to the media after voting on November 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hurt said if the establishment is so good at picking candidates, “then explain why [Colorado’s Republican senatorial candidate Joe] O’Dea lost by 12 points.”

He added, “If you’re the establishment Republican Party, and you’re so effing good at all this stuff, then why [do] you pick candidates that even your own voters don’t support?”

Hurt also questioned why key pre-election polling was incorrect.

“They had Patty Murray up by three points. She won like she did last time, by upper double digits,” he said. “The question I have is–and this is what’s kind of worrisome to me because the party’s got to figure this out–is it those Trump voters that Trafalgar is so good at finding and registering? Did they not show up because they weren’t energized? They showed up in Florida. They showed up huge in Florida. They showed up in Ohio. They showed up in North Carolina. They clearly appear to have not shown up in other places.”

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