Donald Trump is lashing out over suggestions that the Republican Party is rejecting him because of the January 6 insurrection as the House Select Committee lays out a detailed description of what led up to and followed the attack on Congress.
On Sunday, Mr Trump took aim at conservative columnist Peggy Noonan, saying that she doesn’t understand his base and its politics.
In a statement issued via his political action committee Save America, the former president said: “I listen to all of these foolish (stupid!) people, often living in a bygone era, like the weak and frail RINO, Peggy Noonan, who did much less for Ronald Reagan than she claims, and who actually said bad things about him and his ability to speak”.
RINO stands for Republican In Name Only – a term used by right-wing Republicans to describe members of the GOP they believe are insufficiently conservative or not loyal to the far-right of the party.
Mr Trump was responding to a piece Ms Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that “both parties are rejecting their leaders, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. It’s a continuing tectonic shift and the story underlying every daily political story. It’s building and will only grow. Both parties are starting to scramble for what’s next, who’s next. Both are casting about”.
“Mr Trump’s national polling numbers continue underwater, but the real test will be to see those numbers after the Jan 6 hearings are over. I believe we’ll see Rep. Liz Cheney‘s kamikaze mission hit its target, and the SS Trump will list,” she added.
Ms Noonan appeared on NBC News’ Meet The Press on Sunday, speaking about Friday’s Supreme Court Decision to overturn Roe v Wade.
“Look, you know what the Republican Party should do now? It should use this victory – if you see it that way – to change itself and become a party that helps women,” she said, prompting laughs from some fellow panellists.
The entire "Meet the Press" panel laughed out loud at Peggy Noonan today when she said the GOP "should become a party that helps women" after its abortion "victory." pic.twitter.com/uSth0nkutC
— David Edwards (@DavidEdwards) June 26, 2022
Mr Trump also went after Rich Lowry, the editor in chief of the conservative magazine National Review, saying that he “has destroyed the once wonderful and influential National Review, the pride and joy of the legendary William F Buckley”.
The former president also went after other commentators and columnists, such as “George Will, whose mind is decaying with hatred and envy before our very eyes, or Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, two people who are finally out of the conversation and of no relevance whatsoever”.
“Where do these people come from? They have no idea what the MAGA movement is, and even less of an understanding of America First, which is necessary, and even vital, to save our Country,” Mr Trump added.
“People like these are nasty, jealous, not smart, and of no use to the potential greatness of our Country,” he said. “They talk, they criticize, and they complain, but they don’t have the ability or talent to get anything done. They are shortsighted ‘losers,’ and will never understand what it takes to Make America Great Again!”
Mr Hayes called the details from the January 6 hearing on 23 June “jaw-dropping” and “insane”.
He added that “damning testimony comes from Trump supporters, [staffers] and appointees. No wonder so many congressional Republicans are ignoring these hearings”.
Mr Will told Raleigh, North Carolina newspaper The News & Observer in May that Mr Trump “can fill an arena, he can fill a field. But that’s a small portion of the country that comes out for rallies like this. And I think he often makes the political rookie’s mistake”.
“He looks at that and says, ‘Wow, this is the country’. No, it’s an arena. It’s a high school gym full of people. And no one’s ever doubted that he could fill a high school gymnasium. And if he runs again in 2024, there may be 18 people up there. And Trump, the most lurid figure on the stage, will benefit from this, because he’s got 30 per cent rock solid. Well if you get 30 per cent in a field of 18, you win. But then Republicans will wake up, having nominated him, and say, ‘well, that might not have been good arithmetic’,” he added.
Mr Goldberg wrote in a column in May that Mr Trump’s “real goal isn’t to expand the party, but to solidify his control of it”.
“The key to understanding the GOP primaries is to know that traditional conservative ideology or even competence aren’t qualifications or differentiators anymore,” he added. “If they were, [Wyoming Representative Liz] Cheney wouldn’t be a pariah, and Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert wouldn’t be stars. Everyone has to be an angry populist revolutionary who wants to see the world burn.”