107.3 VIP

Playin' All the Hits... All the Time!

Current track




The Reluctance of GOP Presidential Candidates to Challenge Trump

Written by on April 24, 2023

The Republican Party is gearing up for the 2024 presidential race, with several candidates lining up to take on Democratic incumbent Joe Biden. However, their biggest challenge may be getting through the Republican primary and unseating former President Donald Trump as the party’s standard-bearer. Despite Trump facing a historic indictment and ongoing legal issues, his challengers are still deeply reluctant to take on the former president, who sits atop almost every poll of the field.

Trump’s lesser-known rivals have been careful in their remarks about him, largely steering clear of sharp criticism in favor of the occasional implicit jab or subtle indications of opposing policy views. GOP strategist Alex Conant believes it would be virtually impossible for somebody to break through at this stage, with Trump soaking up the relatively scant media attention on the race. Conant believes that to beat Trump, a candidate has to either be a really good counter-puncher or successfully ride the bubble, both of which are difficult to do.

Unlike in 2015 and 2016 when he was a political unknown, Trump now has a lengthy track record in office for opponents to exploit, including his four years as president, his failed efforts to challenge the outcome of the 2020 election, his supporters’ attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and mounting legal troubles. However, there has been almost no attempt to use his record against him, whether by invoking the Republican Congressional majorities lost on his watch, his defeat in 2020, or the election denial movement that sparked a deadly riot at the Capitol and a crop of unelectable, extremist candidates in 2022.

Leading Republicans have almost unanimously surmised that there is no avenue for parlaying those events against Trump in a primary campaign. Trump’s rivals have mostly tried to execute bespoke campaign strategies under the former president’s exceptionally sensitive radar.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, considered Trump’s top competition, has been at the front of the line among high profile Republicans in trying to win over conservatives angered by progressive-minded cultural and business trends. DeSantis has been needling the former president by slamming DEI – or “diversity, equity and inclusion” – programs at colleges and in corporations in his bid to appeal to GOP right-wingers who previously backed Trump.

The Republican Party faces an uphill battle in defeating Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race. Despite his legal issues and controversial legacy, he still commands strong support within the party and has shown an ability to suck up all the oxygen in the race, making it difficult for his rivals to break through. However, it is still early days, and as the race heats up, it remains to be seen if anyone can successfully take on the former president and emerge as the Republican Party’s new standard-bearer.


Get entertainment news, exclusive offers, and secret VIP codes for discounts on concerts sent directly to your email.


We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Reader's opinions

%d bloggers like this: