Original article published on The Week by Tim O’Donnell available here
The three Republicans challenging President Trump in the party’s presidential primary think the incumbent should stand up and fight.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R), former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), and former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) teamed up to pen an op-ed in The Washington Post calling out Trump’s re-election campaign and the four states — South Carolina, Kansas, Arizona, and Nevada — that have canceled state GOP primaries.
Walsh, Weld, and Sanford often vary significantly in tone and policy, but they all agree that the cancellations are “the latest disgrace” brought forth by the Trump administration trying to maneuver its way out of competition (it’s worth noting that states, including Arizona, have called off primaries for incumbents several times before.) The candidates argue the GOP is missing out on a crucial opportunity for debate over ideas and policy because its too focused on holding on to the White House. “If a party stands for nothing but re-election, it indeed stands for nothing,” they wrote.
They even briefly praised their Democratic counterparts, pointing out the party is allowing its citizens to choose the best nominee following months of rigorous debate and campaigning throughout the country. Still, they said it would be a “critical mistake to allow the Democratic Party to dominate the national conversation during primary and caucus season.”
In the end, the challengers believe it boils down to the fact that Trump is scared. “Cowards run from fights,” they wrote. “Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition.” Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O’Donnell