Donald Trump slammed Fox News contributor Kayleigh McEnany for suggesting that he would have to change his tone if he hoped to win over moderate Republicans and independents in the 2024 presidential election, The Hill reported.
After Trump’s primary challenger Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he was suspending his campaign, Fox’s “The Big Weekend Show” discussed the path forward for Trump now that the race had winnowed down to him and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
McEnany suggested that most DeSantis supporters would naturally gravitate back to Trump both in the primaries and the general election. She said the challenge would be for Trump to make inroads with the voting blocs he doesn’t naturally attract.
McEnany suggested that Trump should adopt a tone that is more “conciliatory” if he hoped to unite all of the voters he would need to defeat Joe Biden in November.
She said Trump would need to win over the moderate Republicans who support Nikki Haley, as well as suburban women and independent voters.
McEnany added that winning over voters Trump doesn’t naturally attract was one reason his choice of running mate was “so important.” She suggested that Trump would be wise to choose someone who can attract the voters who may be hesitant about supporting the former president.
“The Big Sunday Show” co-host Guy Benson agreed with McEnany’s appraisal, adding that a “conciliatory tone” would also be necessary if Trump hoped to unify the right to beat Biden in November.
While McEnany’s advice was sensible, Donald Trump did not take it well.
In a January 23 post on Truth Social following his victory over Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire primary, the GOP frontrunner dismissed McEnany’s advice as unnecessary since he just defeated Nikki Haley in the Republican primary.
Trump suggested that “RINO Kayleigh McEnany” save her advice for “Birdbrain” Nikki Haley.
But McEnany’s advice, especially when it comes to winning over moderate Republicans and independents in the general election, would be unwise.
According to the New York Times, exit polling out of New Hampshire showed that support for Trump among college-educated moderates and independent voters is very soft and while that lack of support didn’t hurt him in the Republican primary, it could spell trouble for Trump in November.