Add Kayleigh McEnany to the list of former Trump White House officials spurned by the former president after a perceived betrayal.
The final press secretary of the Trump administration appeared on Fox News on Tuesday as part of the network’s primetime New Hampshire primary coverage. At one point during the broadcast, Ms McEnany described the night as a positive one for Joe Biden due to the relatively competitive turnout in the Republican primary while Mr Biden himself won a write-in campaign for the Democratic ticket.
“This was actually a fairly good night for Joe Biden,” she said. “When you look at our voter analysis, only 10 per cent said, ‘I would not vote for Joe Biden if he’s the nominee.’”
“He won a plurality of voters who said he was too old. He won a majority of voters who are upset about the Gaza war. So the divides in the Democrat Party, and this is a small sample size, but perhaps aren’t as stark as one would think.
She then went on to describe how Mr Trump had not achieved that same unifiying performance in his own battle against Nikki Haley, who lost the state handily while performing better than some polling suggested she would in the last few days of the race.
“[W]hen you look at the Republican Party, seven in ten Nikki Haley voters said, ‘I would not vote for Trump,’” said Ms McEnany.
"Biden won a plurality of voters who said he was too old, he won a majority of voters upset at the Gaza war. The divides in the Democrat Party aren't as stark as one may think. 7 in 10 Haley voters said, 'I will not vote for Trump.'"
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) January 24, 2024
That commentary was not sufficiently complimentary for the former president, well known for lashing out at former allies who criticise him.
On Truth Social, he wrote that Ms McEnany was a RINO [Republican in Name Only], in an angry post sent just before midnight that also referred to his rival for the GOP nomination with a derisive nickname: “I don’t need any advice from RINO Kayleigh McEnany on Fox. Just had a GIANT VICTORY over a badly failing candidate, ’Birdbrain,‘ and she’s telling me what I can do better. Save your advice for Nikki!”
The former president remains the favourite to win the Republican nomination, though Ms Haley is vowing to be a persistent thorn in his side on the path to the convention. He won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night by 11 percentage points, a smaller margin than many polls suggested thanks to his rival’s dominating performance among independent voters.
Ms Haley has promised to remain in the race at least through Super Tuesday in early March; her campaign this week released a lengthy memo arguing that their candidate was heading into friendlier territory in the weeks ahead.
Mr Trump continues to insist that the Republican primary’s outcome is decided, and has refused to participate in onstage debates with Ms Haley or his other now-departed challengers. He leads Ms Haley by a significant margin in nationwide polling of Republican voters. He has won the endorsement of several of his former rivals for the 2024 nomination: Senator Tim Scott, Governor Doug Burgum, and Governor Ron DeSantis. And he has also won the endorsement of more than half of the GOP caucuses in the House and Senate.
That list grew by one with his victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday; Senator John Cornyn of Texas declared in a Twitter/X post that it was “clear” Mr Trump was the choice of Republican voters for 2024.
I have seen enough. To beat Biden, Republicans need to unite around a single candidate, and it’s clear that President Trump is Republican voters’ choice. Four more years of failed domestic policies like the Biden Border Crisis and record-high inflation, and failed foreign…
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 24, 2024