Republican governors hatched the plan months ago. Meeting at the desert Biltmore resort in Phoenix in mid-November, they agreed to confront a new threat to their incumbents: Former president Donald Trump was ramping up support for primary challengers as part of what one former governor called “a personal vendetta tour.”
To protect incumbents up for reelection this year, the Republican Governors Association decided to spend millions of dollars in primaries, an unusual step for an organization that typically reserves its cash for general election matchups against Democrats.
“The focus is on 2022. I don’t believe we should spend one more moment talking about 2020,” Republican Governors Association Co-Chairman Doug Ducey said in an interview with The Washington Post. Asked if Trump’s help for his preferred candidates was worth much, the Arizona governor, who pointed to states where GOP governors avoided or defeated Trump challengers, replied: “It hasn’t been to date.”…
“This is just not the best use of our money. We would much rather use it just in races against Democrats,” said former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who is the co-chair of a 2022 fundraising arm for the RGA and described the November meeting in Phoenix to The Post. “But it was made necessary because Donald Trump decided on the vendetta tour this year and so we need to make sure we protect these folks who are the objects of his vengeance.”
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