Trump recently took notice of Republicans attempting to challenge him in 2020. In a pair of tweets, he attacked the “Three Stooges” currently running against him.
….Another is a one-time BAD Congressman from Illinois who lost in his second term by a landslide, then failed in radio. The third is a man who couldn’t stand up straight while receiving an award. I should be able to take them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2019
Technically, only Bill Weld and Joe Walsh announced they are running. Mark Sandford said on Meet The Press that he is considering entering the race. In any case, none of these three candidates look like they will succeed.
“Mr Appalachian Trail”
Mark Sanford is referred to as “Mr. Appalachian Trail” because of a scandal when he was the governor of South Carolina in 2009. Sanford wasn’t heard from for about a week, so a spokesperson said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. It turns out Sanford was in Argentina having an extramarital affair.
Sanford lost in 2018, partially because he has been a harsh critic of President Trump.
Sanford is the former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Representative. He has yet to formally announce his candidacy, but he has been campaigning in early primary states. He visited New Hampshire earlier this month, and then headed to Iowa.
Sanford is unlikely to gain much support. Even the Republican Party in his home state has strongly criticized his presidential ambitions.
“One-time BAD Congressman From Illinois”
The “one-time BAD Congressman from Illinois who lost in his second term by a landslide, then failed in radio” is Joe Walsh.
Walsh was a Tea Party Congressman in Illinois for one term, and then made a career in radio. He lost his radio show after he announced he was challenging President Trump. This is likely because, by his own estimates, “80-90 percent” of his listeners were Trump supporters. Walsh himself vocally supported President Trump in 2016, but he has since shifted to a position of hatred.
Friends, I'm in. We can't take four more years of Donald Trump. And that's why I'm running for President.
It won't be easy, but bravery is never easy. But together, we can do it. Join me… join us: go to https://t.co/d40HA9h2Kz.
Let's show the world we're ready to be brave.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 25, 2019
Walsh has repeatedly attacked the rhetoric of President Trump, and has tried to position himself in a place of moral superiority. However, Walsh himself is not innocent on this front. His past is filled with racist, disgusting language. Walsh has used the N-Word in multiple tweets, claimed Obama was born in Kenya, and repeatedly claimed that Obama was Muslim. He has also attacked Sandy Hook victims.
“Couldn’t stand up straight while receiving an award”
Trump’s last insult, attacking someone who “couldn’t stand up straight while receiving and award,” refers to Bill Weld. Weld famously fainted while receiving an honorary doctorate of law degree back in 1996.
Bill Weld is the former Governor of Massachusetts, and another staunch critic of President Trump. Weld was the Libertarian running mate of candidate Gary Johnson in 2016. He has repeatedly called for Trump to be impeached.
Weld is also extremely unpopular: he currently only has about nine percent support among GOP voters.
Walking A Thin Line
Running as a Never Trumper is not a smart tactic if a candidate wants to have a chance in the GOP Primaries. This is because President Trump is extremely popular among Republicans. Having your platform be “I hate Trump” may work for Democrats. However, Republican challengers need to find a different avenue if they want to stand a chance.