With the indictment by a Manhattan grand jury, there’s been a lot to steer Trump away from the issues, but one thing he will always have in his corner in his success in office. That’s what led West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a candidate for governor in 2024, to endorse Trump for president, Morrisey said on American Family Radio Tuesday.
Ellis predicts GOP 'blood bath' in presidential primary
Chad Groening, AFN.net
The upcoming Republican presidential primary will be dirty and personal because Donald Trump’s campaign strategy appears to be to demean and mock his opponents, according to the former president’s former attorney.
Now that Joe Biden has officially announced his re-election bid, it remains to be seen just how much of a primary challenge the ailing president will encounter from his political party, but the GOP fight is taking shape with Donald Trump far ahead in polls as he seeks a second term after his 2020 loss.
Jenna Ellis, a former attorney for Trump, now hosts “Jenna Ellis in the Morning," a weekday radio program. In an interview with AFN, she said the coming GOP political battle will be a hard one to watch and compared it to a “blood bath” GOP voters will have to put behind them to support the eventual nominee.
“This particular primary for the GOP is looking like it's going to be so much more contentious than, frankly, any of us has ever seen,” she predicted, “at least in recent memory and certainly more than the 2016 GOP primary."
One reason for that observation, she said, is that Trump’s campaign is already going after Gov. Ron DeSantis in ugly and petty ways. So she predicts a “backlash” because the Right is not focusing on the “true enemies,” who are the far-left Democrats.
Ellis has not publicly endorsed Trump, nor anyone else, so far.
The endorsement decision came easily.
“I thought it was very natural. I've, I've supported this president for a long time,” Morrisey told show host Jenna Ellis. “I thought what happened to him a few weeks ago with the Manhattan DA was really wrong. I mean, these are things as I'm fond of saying, that Banana Republics do. And when you have a prosecutor that goes after someone and you politicize a prosecution that's wrong on every level, and I've always spoken out against that.”
Born in Brooklyn before growing up in New Jersey, Morrisey became West Virginia’s first Republican attorney general since 1933 when he won election in 2012. He lost a Senate bid in a close race to Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin in 2018.
“I've always strongly supported President Trump, and during his tenure of office I led many legal battles to defend a lot of his policy initiatives. For instance, on America's energy independence, West Virginia really counts on our coal, our oil, our gas, our manufacturing jobs,” Morrisey said.
West Virginia’s support for Trump in 2020 was strengthened when candidate Joe Biden expressed disdain for coal jobs. Trump won the state with 68% of the vote.
Coal important in West Virginia
Four years later not only coal but energy in general will be a key point for Morrisey in his effort to follow two-term Republican governor Jim Justice, also a strong coal supporter.
“I remember spending some time talking with President Trump about his plans to deregulate and his plans to expand America's energy independence, and that's exactly what West Virginia needs. It's so critical for the job base in our state. So for many years I've supported his policies that have really been so good for West Virginia,” Morrisey said.
It will also be important for West Virginia’s next governor to get the state’s fentanyl crises under control.
West Virginia had the highest opioid overdose death rate per capita in the US in 2021.
“We are struggling so much seeing the massive quantity of fentanyl flood in, and I know this President cares about that because I've talked to him about this. He cares about the drug epidemic. He did so much more than what Obama did fighting the drug epidemic. And I think it's critical that his policies get reinstated very quickly,” Morrisey said.
Morrisey believes Trump is in a good spot with his reelection chances.
“I think he's well positioned to win. I know a lot of people look at the early polls, but he has a record," the attorney general said. "I think it's a very strong record, and whether it's energy issues, whether it's the tax matters or just what he's done at the border, I think it's very impressive right now.”
While Morrisey supports Trump, he’s also eager to see an exchange of ideas with other candidates in the run-up to the Republican nomination.
“I hear some of the discussions that Vivek (Ramaswamy) has or others have had, and they make really good points, and I think you want to have idea factories during this process because that's how you get better,” Morrisey said. “I'm in a strong position to win, but I've always said that I think there'll be good ideas and good people that participate in the process and that you can win on the power of your ideas.”
Ramaswamy calls for government overhaul
Ramaswamy has called for the abolishment of some government agencies that he says have become ineffective. In an interview with American Family Radio earlier this month, Ramaswamy singled out the FBI, IRS and Department of Education.
Ramaswamy continued those themes in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon last week. The conversation turned contentious over the topic of race, not government agencies, and some speculate that was the interview that led to Lemon’s firing. The network announced on Monday it was parting ways with Lemon.
Republican primary polls show Trump with a huge lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who hasn’t yet officially joined the race.
One tracker shows Trump preferred by 58 percent with DeSantis at 21 percent. No other candidate – and there are many – has reached double figures.