Updated: Jan 18
In the wake of strong Republican primary national polling for Donald Trump across the US, but Ron DeSantis besting him in a recent New Hampshire poll, Fox News Radio Stations across the country interviewed TBAF President John Pudner about the 2024 Republican nomination. The virtual radio tour started with the following cities and stations, and check back for recordings of some of the interviews - which will be added later.
KARN Little Rock, AR - 0740AM ET
WWVA Wheeling, WV - 0750AM ET
WSJK Champaign, IL - 0808AM ET
KTBB Tyler, TX - 0852AM ET
KURV McAllen, TX - 0952AM ET
WHO Des Moines, IA - 1007AM ET
After interviewing Pudner as “President of Take Back Action Fund who was a Bush 2000 Aide and the only person in US History to run a campaign defeating a majority leader in a primary," interviewers asked him about a story in the Hill yesterday entitled, “Trump troubles open path for Senate GOP White House hopefuls.”
That article speculated on political damage suffered by Donald Trump during the Jan. 6 hearings, which journalist Bob Woodward says has written the former president’s “political obituary,” and if that is giving Senate Republicans eyeing the White House new hope for 2024. Questions revolve around if Presidential hopefuls including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) have largely steered clear of defending Trump against the revelations of the Jan. 6 hearings, instead positioning themselves to capitalize if Trump is too compromised to run in 2024.
In response, Pudner focused on several themes during the first few interviews this morning:
Those who charged Republicans would not win because it has become the Party of Trump are simply wrong at least as of today - for one of the few times in history more Americans support the Republican Party than support the Democratic Party, a huge edge since most of the current 9% of independents that do not support either party break Republican in elections (see Gallup polling).
If Trump runs in 2024, Republicans are pretty evenly split between feeling like, “Trump may be a sob, but he is our sob and I want someone tough enough to take on the progressives,: and “Trump’s agenda is great, we just need a new messenger to carry that agenda forward.”
In fact, only two “Never Trumpers” have a chance this year in US Senate candidates. Lisa Murkowski could defeat Kelly Tshibaka in Alaska, and Evan McMullin could defeat Mike Lee in Utah.
The path for a pro-Trump candidate to become the nominee if Trump runs would hinge on winning New Hampshire and having other candidates drop out so there is only one alternative to Trump, and if Trump is no longer winning general election polls like the recent Harvard-Hill poll in which he bests Joe Biden by 5 points.
For most of the past year, Pudner believed Trump would NOT run in 2024 because he has watched many of his past candidates remember how much easier life was when they were not getting beaten up every day in the media. Ironically, but continuing to beat up on him as a former President - whether you agree with it or not - may be making him more likely to run.
We appreciated the hosts mentioning www.takebackaction.org during their interviews, and letting Pudner mention the group’s standing as the group on the right working to change the rules of elections from election integrity to Final-Five voting.
For more on TBORA's efforts on election integrity, please click here.