Donald Trump was a dealt a serious blow as kingmaker in Republican Party politics on Tuesday night when the candidate he endorsed to fill the seat of late US Rep. Ron Wright, lost the special election in Texas.
Congressman Ron Wright died in February from COVID-19 complications.
Trump had endorsed and campaigned for Wright’s widow Susan Wright. She was defeated by fellow Republican and Navy vet, Jake Ellzey who was endorsed by Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw and the former Texas Governor and Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry
“I think this is the only race we’ve lost together,” Trump told Axios about conservative Club for Growth, though he paused himself after saying “lost” to change the wording.
“This is the only race we’ve … this is not a loss, again, I don’t want to claim it is a loss, this was a win,” Trump said. “The big thing is, we had two very good people running that were both Republicans. That was the win.”
But, allies of the former president does not see it that way as they head into the midterms. They are reportedly angry at the president of the conservative Club for Growth, David McIntosh for persuading Trump to endorse a losing candidate.
The group showed Trump internal polling showing Wright leading by double digits. On top of that, they told Trump that Ellzey is a non-conservative, anti-Trumper who does not plan to join the House Freedom Caucus, a group of ultra-conservative Republican lawmakers in the House who are fervently pro-Trump, according to Axios.
“He [Trump] totally was taken to the cleaners by the Club for Growth,” said Rick Perry. “There has to be a reckoning for the Club for Growth. …This whole debacle for the president can be centered on the Club for Growth and David McIntosh.”
Perry told Axios he asked Trump to stay out of the race because he thought Ellzey was a great candidate, but the former president did not listen.
“Big election tomorrow in the Great State of Texas! Susan Wright supports America First policies, our Military and our Veterans, is strong on Borders, tough on Crime, Pro-Life, and will always protect our Second Amendment. She will serve the people in the 6th Congressional District of Texas, and our Country, very well. Susan has my Complete and Total Endorsement,” Trump said in a statement before the race.
Perry blasted McIntosh for trying to make Ellzey who he called an “American hero” look bad.
“That’s what I’ve come to understand about David McIntosh and the Club for Growth,” Perry said. “They will say anything, do anything. And they put Donald J. Trump in jeopardy.”
“In the state of Texas, Mr. McIntosh, we care about character and we care about the truth,” Perry added, “and we would just as soon the Club for Growth never darken the state of Texas again.”