One camp is dominated by the GOP operative class overseeing the party’s electoral efforts, including the president’s own campaign advisers and donors. The imperative is to do anything possible to win the election, and Barbara Lagoa would be an undeniable boon, they say: a Florida-based, Cuban-American jurist from a must-win state, who might also help the president in Hispanic-heavy Arizona and Nevada.
The other, led by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, consists of religious and movement conservatives. They want a can’t-miss pick — someone who carries the lowest possible risk of becoming the next John Roberts or, worse, David Souter. The obvious choice to them is Amy Coney Barrett, an acolyte of former Justice Antonin Scalia who’s been groomed for decades to ascend to the high court and is seen as having the inside track.
The two sides aren’t openly warring; instead, disagreements are surfacing in their attempts to bend the president’s ear and generate favorable media coverage for their preference. But the discord reflects the GOP’s conflicting priorities six weeks out from an election that Trump could well lose.