The Republican Party must not go back to its pre-Donald Trump focuses, former Trump adviser Peter Navarro said this week.
“Donald J. Trump’s success was really based on his ability to transform the Republican Party into the party of blue collar America, the party of the working class, the party of the big union bosses where the rank and file voted for Trump and didn’t listen to those bosses,” Navarro, a trade expert, said on Steve Bannon’s “War Room.”
But Trump lost the 2020 election and some top Republicans, including Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have asserted the party should move beyond him.
That would be a mistake, Navarro said, in effect ignoring the “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) movement that Trump helped form into a political force.
McConnell, among others, want to go back “to that old future of a Republicanism that is only dedicated to tax breaks and deregulation, and ignores the fundamental aspects of the MAGA movement and Trump, which is the fair trade, the end of the endless wars, and the secure borders,” Navarro said.
“That’s like the holy trinity basically of protecting American working class. If he thinks he can go back to that, and turn his back on the 74 million MAGA Americans that voted for Trump, he’s basically dealing the Republican Party a losing hand.”
McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) didn’t respond to requests for comment.
McConnell voted to acquit Trump of an impeachment charge over the weekend but then took the Senate floor and lambasted the ex-president, blaming the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol on him and his claims of election fraud.
Trump responded with a forceful statement, accusing the longtime senator of “never [doing] what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country.”
“Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership,” Trump said.
Trump plans on spending time and money to try to help Republicans flip the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2022, current and former advisers have said.
Navarro told Bannon, a former Trump aide, that he wants to work in the next year-and-a-half on installing someone to supplant McConnell, who was reelected last year, as the top Republican in Congress. McConnell became the party’s leader in the upper chamber in 2007.
“And make sure that Kevin McCarthy, as well, gets booted out the door,” Navarro said. “We need somebody on the House of Representatives side who’s not the multinational corporate shill like McCarthy is.”