Domenech: GOP establishment eager to blame Georgia runoff defeat on Trump
The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech analyzes the results of the Georgia Senate runoffs.
The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech told "America's Newsroom" Wednesday that Republican establishment leaders would miss the point if they solely blamed President Trump for their disappointments in Tuesday's Georgia Senate runoffs.
Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., on Tuesday, and Democrat Jon Ossoff declared victory Wednesday over Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., although their race has yet to be called. Ossoff currently holds a narrow lead and should he win, Democrats will clinch Senate control. Some Republicans are fuming at Trump after he attacked Georgia Republican election officials and repeatedly questioned the validity of the state's election apparatus over the last two months, saying it might have depressed their voter turnout enough to allow the Democrats to win their races.
Domenech also said the likelihood of a flipped Senate would have a significant impact on President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet makeup, which could be "more radical" since he could potentially need zero Republican votes to confirm a controversial nominee.
BEN DOMENECH: I think the most immediate thing you are going to see when it comes to a flipped Senate is real freedom on the part of Joe Biden to name whoever he wants to a lot of critical positions. Those nominations are things that could have been difficult fights, situations where he might not have gone with someone who could be more radical in a particular situation. I do think it's very telling, for instance, that we didn't get an attorney general named before all of this went down. That's going to lead, I think, to some real results in terms of the different bureaucracies and agencies that are going to make a lot of decisions…
This is a situation where the president kind of has to decide whether, to your point, he wants to remain as the leader of the Republican Party, the leader of the Republican coalition, one that he obviously took over despite having to fight his way to do so against Republican Party establishment leaders. They're eager to blame this on the president, saying that him complaining about these election results in Georgia and in other states distracted from things, that his putting forward this $2,000 stimulus, an increase over the $600, that it muddied the waters.
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But I think the actual lessons you can take away from this moment is you need the Trump coalition, plus a little bit more. Honestly, if you had had Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue match up with the numbers that they had gotten when Donald Trump was on the ballot, they would still be senators today. Instead, you saw a decline in a number of key places that ultimately made the difference in probably both of these races.
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