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Opinion | So You Want to Run Against Trump?

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Bellowing and kicking up dust like a confusion of wildebeest at the river’s edge, nearly a dozen Republicans have positioned themselves to challenge Donald Trump for their party’s 2024 presidential nomination. Some of the ’beests — Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo in particular — are readying themselves to replace Trump as the party’s alpha bull. Others, like Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Glenn Youngkin, Tom Cotton and Tim Scott have dipped their hooves into the campaign river lest they attract Trump’s snatching and mashing jaws.

The commentariat is currently handicapping the race, and nearly half of Republican primary voters have told pollsters they want somebody other than Trump to be president. His grip is weakening. Seeing as the first primary won’t arrive for a year and a half, his challengers have plenty of time to plot. As the midterms pass into the books and the presidential contest takes top priority, Trump’s challengers will need fresh thinking on how to displace him. Here is some unsolicited advice.

Nuzzle Up to Fox: To beat Trump, you must visit the people where they live, and where they live is Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel. Murdoch appears to have dumped Trump for the moment, so Fox has plenty of openings on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity, The Ingraham Angle, and the myriad morning, afternoon and weekend shows pushing Republican dogma. Trump’s trash talk and exaggerations set the standards for a successful Fox appearance, so the candidates must strive to be memorable. They shouldn’t ignore Trump’s signature issues like immigration, the wall, trade, regulation, “America First” and loading the judiciary, but they need to find new material to stir the masses, so they sound like a choice, not an echo. Every third word out of their mouths should be about the “disaster” of the Biden economy, inflation, the........

© Politico

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