More than a year after leaving office, Donald Trump continues to cast a large shadow over his party and the nation’s political imagination. Bill Barr thinks that should change.
The former attorney general tells the Washington Examiner that Trump served his purpose in slowing down the radical left’s takeover of the United States and that he should not run for president again in 2024.
Barr says Trump shouldn’t run again
Barr was often seen as one of Trump’s closest allies in his administration before the two had a falling out over the 2020 election, which Trump and many Trump supporters say was rigged. Barr says it was not.
In an interview with the Examiner’s Salena Zito, Barr said that Trump’s erratic behavior was what cost him the race and that his continued focus on 2020 is counterproductive.
Barr criticized Trump for “starting a civil war in the party and calling everyone who doesn’t believe that the election was stolen a RINO,” but Barr also acknowledged Trump’s unique qualities — giving a nod to his fighting spirit and an “over-the-top approach” that Barr says was “necessary to break through the media.”
Barr also called Trump a “necessary figure” and credited him with bringing to a “screeching halt” the left-ward turn the country experienced in the Obama era, and which would have accelerated further had Clinton won the presidency.
“He may have been, historically, a necessary figure, and I give him all credit for bringing to a screeching halt the progressive march that occurred under the Obama administration and threatened the country going forward with Hillary Clinton,” said Barr.
Barr says Trump’s time is over
With a fighter like Trump in charge, the right “punched the other guy in the nose,” but the task before conservatives has shifted now to something more delicate — “methodically restoring the United States,” Barr said.
Trump is not the man for the job, Barr said, because he lacks the “capacity” to win the kind of “transformative election” that Republicans need to make the party grow, Barr said.
“I don’t necessarily want to take a shot at Trump, but Trump is not that man,” Barr said.
Barr is, of course, not the only establishment-aligned Republican to come at Trump recently. Vice president Mike Pence, who appears to be gearing up for a presidential run, has gotten some attention for taking subtle snipes at his former boss.