In a Tuesday interview on MSNBC, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that former President Donald Trump’s popularity and power are “declining,” but warned party leaders shouldn’t underestimate him.
Schumer’s remarks were made on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and were in response to a question from co-host Willie Geist, who asked the majority leader if he believed the Republican Party was moving away from Trump.
Schumer said. “I think his power is declining some. But I wouldn’t underestimate him. The problem is in our primary votes, we don’t have the whole electorate voting.”
Schumer noted that Trump could do well in the 2024 primary elections but noted that several polls seemed to indicate Republicans may prefer someone else.
Not answering the question directly, Schumer said:
“[Trump’]s a danger to our democracy, but I do think that the Republican Party is in for a reckoning come the next year or so, and it’s not just Trump. Are they going to follow this MAGA-type proposals, which he originated and some are adopting, or are they going to go back to the more traditional Republican Party, conservative but not radical and not anti-democratic, small d.”
Trump seems unfazed by polls and opponents. “Just as I promised in 2016,” Trump said as he announced his bid for President in 2024, “I am your voice. I am your voice. The Washington establishment wants to silence us, but we will not let them do that.”
Trump continued: “What we have built together over the past six years is the greatest movement in history because it is not about politics. It’s about our love for this great country, America, and we’re not going to let it fail.”
Geist asked Schumer if he thought GOP leaders were moving away from Trump, noting that several of Trump’s allies in the House recently ignored his plea to support Kevin McCarthy in his bid to serve as speaker of the House
Schumer stated that twenty Republicans in the House were slow to step in line behind Trump’s push for McCarthy and that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was especially critical of Trump’s endorsement of McCarthy.
Noting that McCarthy ultimately secured the position as speaker, Schumer mocked that due to in-party fighting, McCarthy’s “dream job” could quickly sour, saying, “Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s dream job could turn into a nightmare for the American people.”
Minimizing McCarthy’s win, Schumer said:
“To get the votes, he surrendered to demands of a fringe element of the Republican Party. Kevin McCarthy’s concessions to the extremists in his party make it far more likely that the MAGA Republican-controlled House will cause a government shutdown or a default with devastating consequences to our country.”