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CNN Host Says GOP Field So Large Because Most Hope Trump Will Be Indicted

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A CNN host offered a bizarre explanation on Saturday for why so many Republicans are jumping into the race to challenge 2024 presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump.

Michael Smerconish, during the segment, suggested that the growing GOP field is hoping that Democrat prosecutors in New York, Georgia, and elsewhere are successful in prosecuting the former president, which may take him out of the race or, at a minimum, make him politically unviable.

“Why are so many Republican candidates now challenging Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination?” he asked during his “Smerconish” show segment.

He answered his own question: Potential criminal indictments.

Mediaite reported further:

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Most of the candidates, including not just the still Trump-friendly such as Vivek Ramaswamy but contenders like DeSantis, have spoken out against “Soros DAs” across the country — meaning Democrat prosecutors who, like Alvin Bragg, were funded in small or large part by organizations tied to billionaire leftwing activist and big money donor George Soros.

But, Smerconish theorized, the candidates in the primary may actually be hoping for or counting on the many criminal investigations and pending prosecutions against Trump to see him locked up and unable to run for office at all, thus leaving the field and the party to those who remain.

“Why are so many Republican candidates now challenging Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination? Think about it. He’s a former president, essentially a GOP incumbent who’s consistently polling around 50% of the GOP vote in the polls,” Smerconish began.

“And we learned in 2016 that given the hardcore support that Trump enjoys from some, he’s the beneficiary of a large field. Remember, in that cycle, there were so many running that debates, they had a kids table,” he added.

“This time Trump announced first and then Nikki Haley and then Vivek Ramaswamy, Larry Elder, Asa Hutchinson, Tim Scott, and now Ron DeSantis, who, by the way, is only 44 years old. By Biden-Trump standards, he’s got three more decades to run for president,” the CNN host continued.

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“So why run now? Why get into the steel cage with a wrestler who always carries a foreign object? Mike Pence said he’ll soon make a decision. Chris Christie sure sounds like a candidate. Sununu might get in. Even Glenn Youngkin, according to Axios, is taking a second look,” he said.

“So what’s going on? Maybe that they don’t think they’ll have to beat Trump, that that work will be done by a combination of Alvin Bragg, Fani Willis, Jack Smith, and Merrick Garland,” he noted.

In conclusion, he also wondered if Trump being jailed would put an end to President Joe Biden’s 2024 prospects.

“And if they’re right and Trump isn’t the candidate, does that put more pressure on President Biden to step aside, where in the face of polling showing that even Democrats want a change in their ticket, his retort is to suggest that he alone can defeat Donald Trump?” he asked.

One case that may soon change is an investigation into alleged 2020 election malfeasance being conducted by Willis, the Fulton County, Ga., district attorney.

According to a letter obtained by The New York Times earlier this month, DA Fani Willis has reportedly told her staff to work remotely from July 31 through August 18 while also asking judges in a downtown Atlanta courthouse not to schedule any trials between August 7 and August 14.

“The moves suggest that [Willis] is expecting a grand jury to unseal indictments during that time period. Ms. Willis outlined the remote work plan and made the request to judges in a letter sent on Thursday to 21 Fulton County officials, including the chief county judge, Ural Glanville, and the sheriff, Pat Labat,” the Times reported.

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