Trump and the pursuit of complete and total control

Trump and the pursuit of complete and total control

While even the most conservative GOP senators dismiss the possibility of McConnell being ousted as the party’s Senate leader, Trump’s search for a challenger is a reminder that the former president’s priority when it comes to 2022 is on recruiting House and Senate candidates who reflect his style and agenda, and who place loyalty to Trump above all else — certainly above McConnell.

In North Carolina, where Republican Richard M. Burr is retiring, Rep. Ted Budd has already been endorsed by Trump, former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and the increasingly extreme Club for Growth.

But other conservatives, including former Trump administration official Mick Mulvaney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, have endorsed former Rep. Mark Walker.

Establishment Republicans in the state, including the retiring Burr, much prefer former North Carolina governor and former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, who would likely have the greatest statewide appeal. But conservatives find him too pragmatic, and the former governor may have burned bridges with the former president when he was critical of Trump for not accepting the 2020 election results.

In endorsing Budd, who voted against certifying the 2020 election in January, Trump said the congressman had “his complete and total endorsement.”

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