(DCWatchdog.com) – In a strong-worded editorial that will not sit well with many Republicans, National Review has become the first major conservative publication to announce its presidential endorsement for 2024 – attacking Donald Trump and his “radioactive persona” while throwing its weight behind either Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley.
National Review acknowledges the former president’s strength at the polls among GOP voters but insists that there are too many issues associated with his 2024 presidential bid, which the Democrats easily weaponize. In contrast, the magazine believes DeSantis or Haley would be excellent choices without Trump’s baggage.
“Trump feels inevitable, but nothing is settled until Republicans actually caucus and vote. They would be well advised to opt for one of the alternatives who are far and away better on the merits, more likely to win in November, and, if elected, more likely to deliver — free from the wild drama of a second Trump term — conservative results,” the conservative news outlet asserts.
It slams the former president for failing to admit the truth about losing the 2020 election.
“Trump insisted he’d won and did everything he could to overturn the result, including trying to bully his vice president into violating his oath and preventing and delaying the counting of the electoral vote. When a mob, fervently believing Trump’s lies, fought its way into the U.S. Capitol to try to end the count, Trump did little or nothing to try to stop it,” National Review writes.
It further dwells on the fact that much of Trump’s “electability argument” boils down to the weakness of incumbent President Joe Biden.
“The Democrat is so weak he could lose to Trump, but the former president is still a risky bet compared with another Republican candidate without his baggage,” the article reads.
“Nominating someone else would instantly deny the Democrats their most powerful weapon in the cause of winning an otherwise unthinkable Biden second term — Trump’s radioactive persona,” it insists.
National Review recognizes some of the former president’s “important conservative wins” during his White House term, or that he would be much better than Joe Biden in any way.
However, it predicts that his “personal vendettas” and problems attracting talented staffers would be tremendous issues.
“His bad instincts on trade and NATO, tendency to personalize everything including foreign relations, contempt for rules that get in his way, and erratic nature would risk real harm to the country. He’d be an easily distracted 78-year-old one-termer sure to get wiped out in the midterms, once again,” the conservative publication predicts.
“Whatever their downsides, both DeSantis and Haley would avoid almost all these pitfalls…. It’s not too late to choose one of the [alternatives to Trump], and forge a better path for the party and for the country,” National Review concludes.