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Trump fires back at WSJ editorial urging GOP to move on

The Hill logo The Hill 3/4/2021 Jonathan Easley
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Former President Trump at CPAC © Getty Images Former President Trump at CPAC

Former President Trump on Thursday lashed out at the Wall Street Journal editorial board for calling on Republicans to abandon him and blamed his GOP critics for the party's Georgia Senate losses.

In a statement released Thursday, Trump accused the paper's opinion section, which has a traditionally conservative bent, of supporting "globalist policies such as bad trade deals, open borders, and endless wars."

"They fight for RINOS that have so badly hurt the Republican Party," Trump said. "That's where they are and that's where they will always be. Fortunately, nobody cares much about The Wall Street Journal editorial anymore. They have lost great credibility."

The statement came in response to an editorial detailing the GOP's many electoral losses since Trump came into office.

The paper wrote that despite Trump's claims about his dominance, he lost to President Biden by 7 million votes and fumbled away two traditionally red states - Arizona and Georgia.

During Trump's tenure, Republicans lost the House, Senate and White House. The former president's approval rating never reached above 50 percent in most polls, the editorial says.

"As long as Republicans focus on the grievances of the Trump past, they won't be a governing majority," the editorial board concluded.

The Wall Street Journal also blamed Trump for the GOP's runoff losses in two Georgia Senate races.

Those races gave Democrats a majority in the Senate and came as the GOP was torn apart by Trump's claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him through widespread fraud.

Many Republicans believe Trump's claims suppressed the GOP vote in rural Georgia, where some voters didn't think their ballots would count, and in the Atlanta suburbs, where right-leaning independents were turned off by the GOP infighting and claims about a conspiracy.

"He cost the GOP two Georgia Senate races on Jan. 5 as he made his claims of election fraud the main issue rather than checking Mr. Biden and Nancy Pelosi," the editorial board wrote. "Mr. Trump essentially told his Georgia supporters their votes didn't matter, and many stayed home. The GOP lost the Senate."

Trump blasted back, blaming Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and other GOP officials in the state for not doing enough to root out fraud, which he continues to blame for his election loss.

Trump also blamed the Senate losses on then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) refusal to push through a COVID-19 relief package that included $2,000 individual payments to most Americans.

"This latter point was used against our Senators and the $2,000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats who bought the Georgia election-and McConnell let them do it!" Trump said. "Even more stupidly, the National Republican Senatorial Committee spent millions of dollars on ineffective TV ads starring Mitch McConnell, the most unpopular politician in the country, who only won in Kentucky because President Trump endorsed him. He would have lost badly without this endorsement."

McConnell won reelection by nearly 20 points, his largest margin of victory since 2002.

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