Trump urged to delay 2024 launch as Republicans fret over midterm elections

Former president lashes out at TV outlet that he has appeared on dozens of times

Once friendly news outlets and former allies are calling on Donald Trump to postpone the expected launch of his 2024 presidential campaign. AP
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Former US president Donald Trump is being urged to push back his expected launch of a 2024 presidential run after Republicans failed to get their projected decisive victory in the midterm elections.

As conservative media outlets branded Florida Governor Ron DeSantis the future of the Republican Party, those same outlets pointed the finger at Mr Trump over the Republicans' anticlimactic performance.

Now, with Georgia heading for a run-off that could determine the fate of the Senate, Republicans and former Trump allies are urging him to delay the expected launch of his White House campaign.

“I’ll be advising him that he move his announcement until after the Georgia run-off,” said former Trump adviser Jason Miller, who spent the night with the former president at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

“Georgia needs to be the focus of every Republican in the country right now,” he said.

Mr Trump endorsed American football star Herschel Walker in the race. But the US Senate candidate, looking to unseat Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, was dogged by allegations that he paid for a former girlfriend's abortion. Mr Walker denies the report.

The former president said he would have a “big announcement” on November 15, exactly one week after election day in the US. It is reported that he had hoped to ride Republican momentum into a fresh bid for the presidency, but that “red wave” did not pan out.

The elections provided mixed results for Mr Trump, whose endorsed candidate JD Vance won the Senate race in Ohio. But celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz lost Pennsylvania, one of the biggest trophies this election cycle.

Republicans remain on track to win the House of Representatives, but if they do, it would be by the slimmest of margins, not with the 25-seat pickup that non-partisan election forecasters had predicted.

“I mean, we had a historic opportunity and Trump’s recruitment of unelectable candidates blew it for us,” Scott Reed, a veteran Republican strategist, told The Associated Press.

As the results showed that Republicans were in danger of losing the Senate in a repeat of 2020, former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the former president should put any presidential aspirations on hold.

“I think he needs to put it on pause,” she told Fox News, which Mr Trump often watches, arguing that all efforts should be focused on the December 6 run-off in Georgia.

She did not give a clear answer when asked if Mr Trump should campaign in Georgia during the run-off campaign but raised the idea of a visit from the party's new rising star.

“I think we’ve got to make strategic calculations. Governor [Ron] DeSantis, I think he should be welcomed to the state,” Ms McEnany said, pointing to his landslide re-election win in Florida.

It seemed to be part of a growing shift for the network that interviewed Mr Trump throughout his campaign and candidacy. A Fox News op-ed also called for the Republican Party to embrace Mr DeSantis as its new leader and ditch Mr Trump.

Now on the political sidelines, Mr Trump attacked the outlet on his Truth Social platform.

“For me, Fox News was always gone, even in 2015-16 when I began my 'journey', but now they're really gone,” he said.

Updated: November 11, 2022, 11:49 AM