Speaking to The New York Times, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) explained why his party has focused on former President Donald Trump amid criticism of it from Republicans who have accused Democrats of launching investigations motivated by political animus toward him and focusing much of their messaging around him ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
Maloney said that Trump is still very much a “liability” for Republicans, pointing to efforts by Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who recently won Virginia’s gubernatorial election, to distance himself from the former President.
“Glenn Youngkin ran like a teenaged girl in a slasher movie away from Donald Trump,” Maloney said. “They’re making fun of him on ‘Saturday Night Live’ for how much he tried to run away from Donald Trump.”
Maloney said that Democratic losses in Virginia and other states “ought to be a wake-up call that we’re not getting the job done on messaging.” He noted, however, that the situation is more complicated than it might appear on the surface.
“The competitive congressional districts are in largely suburban swing areas, and in those areas, Glenn Youngkin underperformed Mitt Romney,” he said. “I think it’s more complicated than people are saying. Trump’s toxicity continues to be a tremendous liability with suburban swing voters.”
Recently, Trump claimed that Youngkin would have lost the race by a significant margin had he not leaned into support from Trump and his MAGA contingent.
“I’ve heard Virginia is blue, but I’ve never believed it was blue,” Trump said during an interview on local radio in Virginia on Wednesday morning. “Without MAGA he would have lost by 15 points, more … instead of giving us credit they say, ‘oh he’s more popular than [Trump].’”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.