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Former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says Trump is the only ‘mainstream Republican’ who could lose to Biden in 2024

Mick Mulvaney.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

  • Mick Mulvaney said Trump is was probably the only “mainstream Republican” who could lose to Biden in 2024.
  • Trump’s former chief of staff doubled down on comments that the GOP doesn’t need Trump.
  • Mulvaney previously said Trump was damaged by the Jan. 6 committee findings.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Donald Trump is the only “mainstream Republican” who could lose in a 2024 presidential race against Joe Biden.

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Mulvaney name-checked a handful of high-profile Republicans who he said have a better chance at winning, calling them a “new generation.”

“Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, go down the list — folks that could give us the same policies, the same energy, same defense of the middle class that Donald Trump gave us, without the baggage,” Mulvaney said. 

Mulvaney worked as Trump’s chief of staff from 2019 to 2020, and became special envoy to Northern Ireland in March 2020. He then quit that role after the Capitol riot. 

On Tuesday, he said: “If the election were today, and Joe Biden was the nominee for the Democrats, with Kamala Harris or Gavin Newsom — there’s probably only one mainstream Republican who could lose, and that’s Donald Trump.”

He pointed to recent polling — likely the one published in early July by The New York Times — that said slightly more than half of GOP voters would not support Trump again in 2024. 

Earlier this month, he told CNN that he saw Trump as “damaged” and that he couldn’t support him — a sentiment he repeated on Tuesday. 

He put that down to the revelations of the January 6 committee, suggesting that he believes the bipartisan investigation is politically motivated. 

“I don’t know if that’s what they want to accomplish — I sort of thought that they wanted to,” he said. “To the extent that they wanted to wound him politically, I think that’s happened.”

Mulvaney was formerly a Trump ultra-loyalist, telling reporters to “get over it” after he said Trump offered aid to Ukraine conditional on the country investigating Democrats. Mulvaney later walked back the claim.

That infamous call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would spur the Democrats’ attempt to impeach the then-president — during which Mulvaney defied a subpoena.

But since the riot at the Capitol, Mulvaney has walked an uneasy path defending the January 6 committee in an op-ed and later countering right-wing criticism of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson after her bombshell testimony in late June. 

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