GOP leaders are betting that the GOP-led coalition they formed in the wake of last year’s election will be able to take on the Democrats next year, and that President Trump will be defeated by the Democrats in 2020.
It’s not the first time Republicans have tried to use the same strategy with President Trump: The party also tried to get Trump to concede the election in 2020 but he refused, and the party ended up losing the popular vote.
Trump has yet to publicly acknowledge the 2020 election outcome.
Republicans will hold their first conference of the Trump presidency on Thursday at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., where they’ll elect a majority of House members.
Trump will join GOP leaders at the conference, and some have been encouraging him to join the conference in the days ahead, arguing that his presidency has been unrivaled.
“I don’t think he can be impeached for the 2020 presidential election,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told Fox News last week.
“It’s just not possible.
He’s the president.
It doesn’t work that way.
It never has.”
And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, S.C.) said last week, “The next president needs to get the next president impeached, and I don’t want to see that happen.”
Graham is one of several Senate Republicans who have endorsed the 2018 effort.
The party’s leaders say the 2018 midterm elections will be a referendum on Trump.
“This year is going to be the test of whether Republicans are willing to take a bold step and elect a president who’s different than the one they supported for four years,” Sen. Mike Lee (R), the Senate majority leader, said in a statement last week when the conference convenes.
“And I believe they will.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) has also urged the GOP to make the 2020 elections a referendum.
“There is no better time than now to put the nation’s health at stake and fight for a more compassionate, inclusive and inclusive government,” Ryan said in an October tweet.
“We must continue to be on the defensive, and we must focus on winning.”
A key GOP target this year is Sen. Marco Rubio (R.-Fla.), who has been outspoken about his desire to run in 2020 against Trump.
In the House, where he is currently majority leader in a Republican-led government, Republicans have already endorsed his bid to run against Trump, and they’ve already begun fundraising to fund the race.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R.
Calif.) is also expected to join Trump in the 2018 race.
In a series of tweets last week that he attributed to “the leader of the party,” McCarthy said, “I am pleased to announce I will be running against @realDonaldTrump in 2020.”
And Rep. Michael Grimm (R.) said he will join Trump’s 2020 campaign and that the president is “trying to make it impossible to defeat him.”
“The president is not going to give up,” Grimm said.
“He is a force for good.
I think he’s going to make this impossible.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) also said she would run in 2018 against Trump but said it was a decision for 2020.
“The 2020 election will define the future of our country,” Pelosi said in her statement.
“Our party will be strong for years to come.”