“I’d say that we can have our cake and eat it too on this one,” he went on. “Suburban white voters didn’t abandon us because of issues: they abandoned us because they didn’t want Donald Trump any longer. It was a personal rejection.”
You don’t have to squint hard to read between the lines. Republicans can still cobble together a majority in 2024 if they continue to turn out working-class whites and woo back suburban voters by ditching Trump but not all of Trumpism.
Christie sees the potential to exploit Joe Biden’s looming problems like inflation, as well as culture war targets (schools closing for COVID, critical race theory, etc). But he warns that Trump continues to push a backward-looking agenda that is doomed to failure. “It’s one thing when you’re a politician to be channeling the anger of others, it’s another to be channeling your anger to others. And that’s what he did.”
So how can the GOP get past the politics of grievance? “Let’s stop saying that the election was stolen—because it wasn’t… let’s stop saying that the people who were shoving chairs and wood planks through the windows of the Capitol were there to take a tour. You know they weren’t.”