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RACHEL MADDOW

Despite his losses, Trump advises Republicans on how to ‘win big’

Trump is certain he knows exactly what Republicans need to do to “win big.” If Democrats are fortunate, GOP candidates will follow the advice.

Donald Trump doesn’t have a whole lot to do in his semi-retirement, but he’s eager to give his adopted political party some electoral advice.

Former President Trump says Republicans have to embrace his political agenda if they want to win back the House and Senate in 2022. Trump was asked in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity set to air Monday night whether GOP congressional candidates should run on the so-called “Make America Great” agenda.

“If they want to win, yes. We’ve expanded the Republican Party,” Trump said, adding, in reference to embracing his agenda, “If you want to win and win big, you have to do that. You have to do it.”

Right off the bat, part of the problem with this declaration is that there is no such thing as the “Make America Great” blueprint for Republicans to run on. The former president deliberately ran for the White House in 2016 without a policy agenda; he struggled mightily to formulate substantive proposals while in office (though I’m sure his health care plan is just two weeks away); and Trump and his party didn’t even bother to write a platform at all in 2020.

The “agenda” has some vague platitudes — the Fox News host, for example, said in this interview that the plan features “more liberty” and “more freedom” — but this is hardly a credible message Republicans “have to” embrace if they expect to regain power.

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But what struck me as even more amazing is the former president’s assumption that he has credibility on the subject. Consider:

  • 2016: Trump loses the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes
  • 2017: Republicans lose gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia
  • 2018: Republicans lose their majority in the U.S. House
  • 2019: Republicans lose gubernatorial races in Kentucky and Louisiana
  • 2020: Trump loses the popular vote by 7 million votes, while Republicans lose their majority in the U.S. Senate
  • 2021: Trump, following one failed term, advises Republicans on how to “win big”

The former president has said a great many things that aren’t true, but the idea that he’s a genius political strategist, who know precisely how to guide the GOP to sweeping national victories, is among his more amusing boasts.

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