Political campaigns

‘One of the worst presidential campaigns’: Navarro reflects on why Trump lost

EXCLUSIVE – DIn the home stretch of the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump was rocked by “one of the worst presidential campaigns in modern history,” says former White House adviser Peter Navarro.

As Trump sought to lead the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic and throw political hay at then-candidate Joe Biden, some of his campaign advisers were falsifying polling numbers to give him a bigger view. optimistic about the election and wasting money on frivolous gambits, making the election much closer than it should have been, Navarro alleged.

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“[They ran] effectively one of the worst presidential campaigns in modern history in stark contrast to his 2016 campaign. The president himself, I think, has done a tremendous job leading this country. He had the vision, but frankly he was let down by the wrong staff who came into the west wing and never should have,” Navarro told the Washington Examiner on Monday during a cocktail and a press event for his new book, Reclaiming America from Trump: Why We Lost the White House and How We Will Reclaim It.

After Trump’s election defeat, Navarro authored the “Navarro Reports” outlining heavily disputed allegations of election fraud and irregularities. He also launched the so-called “Green Bay Sweep” plan to uncertify the 2020 election and give Trump a second term.

But in Navarro’s mind, the election “should have been a landslide” that likely would have overshadowed any potential fraud. The campaign’s ineptitude turned Trump’s showdown with Biden into “something much closer” than it otherwise would have been.

White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro, who will now serve as National Defense Production Act Policy Coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room, Friday, March 27, 2020 , in Washington, under the listening of President Donald Trump.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Navarro spares Trump much of his harsh criticism, instead directing his anger at the “West Wing dumpster.” He has long lamented that the Trump administration is piled high with poor staffing choices such as former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former chief of staff John Kelly and others. .

But much of that has spilled over to the campaign. There was one man in particular whose involvement particularly angered Navarro: Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

“In 2016 we were significantly overwhelmed, but the money was put to good use. And in 2020 we had a lot of money, but Kushner burned it like a monkey with a flamethrower. campaign, we ran out of money,” Navarro said. “The [were] the young people there making six figures, and then when the pandemic hit, they didn’t even come to work.”

While Brad Parscale was the Trump campaign leader floundering on paper, Navarro calls Kushner the “de facto” campaign manager responsible for much of the campaign chaos. In his book, due out Tuesday, he alleged that Kushner frequently added points to polls and lied to the “boss.”

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Eventually, Navarro and his allies, backed by Donald Trump Jr., concocted some sort of unsuccessful coup to oust Kushner from his campaign perch, according to the book.

For Navarro, Kushner was part of a larger problem in the Trump White House. The “reaching out to mainstream Republicans” that the former president pursued in his early days in the White House fueled much of Trump’s woes.

The so-called “RINOs” (short for “Republicans in name only”) share many common goals with Trump’s Republicans, such as pursuing lower tax and regulatory burdens on businesses, Navarro says. But the two sides differ considerably on immigration, trade and foreign wars: fundamental political questions.

“Mitch McConnell – his business model is to go to Wall Street and corporate America and raise funds, give them to Senate candidates who pledge loyalty to him. He maintains his power, but he does so at the expense of be beholden to Wall Street,” Navarro said. “Therein lies the beauty of Trump. He didn’t have to put up with any of this. So we had this black swan event.”

Trump’s attempt to soften relations with traditional establishment Republicans was “misplaced”, he argued. They prevented Trump from pursuing much of his hallmark national goals such as “buy America, hire American politicians,” according to Navarro.

In total, there were five strategic mistakes “catalyzed by bad personnel” that caused Trump’s electoral defeat, according to Navarro’s book. This includes a failure to pursue an uncompromising “Communist China” approach, not governing like an “incendiary populist economic nationalist”, campaign mishaps, stalled efforts to pass another round of COVID-19 stimulus in the twilight days before the election, and the inability of the White House communications team to whittle down the narratives of “big Never-Trump newspaper executives.”

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To address the pitfalls that led to Trump’s downfall in 2020, he must surround himself with strong personnel and be unwavering in his pursuit of a populist economic nationalist agenda, should he embark on a stint in 2024. , Navarro said.

He describes Trump as an “avid reader” and hoped Trump would read his new book, which borderline functions as a sort of letter to his former boss. Navarro declined to disclose how often he chats with Trump.

Navarro also joked that his new book would help pay his legal bills for his legal wrangling over contempt of congressional charges against him for defying Jan. 6 subpoenas. He will be tried in November.