- Republican pollster Frank Luntz said behind the scenes, GOP leaders are mocking Donald Trump.
- Luntz commented on Governor Chris Sununu calling Trump “crazy” last week.
- “I don’t know a single Republican who was surprised by what Sununu said. He said what they thought,” Luntz said.
GOP pollster Frank Luntz said Republican lawmakers privately “laugh” at former President Donald Trump and view Trump as a “child.”
Luntz made the comments to The Daily Beast this week, referring to a joke New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu made at the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner. Sununu hit out at Trump at the event, calling the former president a “fuckin’ fool.”
“The press will often ask me if I think Donald Trump is crazy. And I’ll put it this way: I don’t think he’s so crazy that you can put him in a mental institution. But I think if he was in a , it does not come out!” Sununu said, per Politico.
Luntz weighed in on Sununu’s comments, saying, “I don’t know a single Republican who was surprised by what Sununu said. He said what they thought.”
Luntz went on to say that Republican lawmakers were more than happy to poke fun at Trump privately, but would not do so openly.
“They won’t tell [in public], but behind his back, they think he’s a child. They are laughing at him. That’s what made [Sununu’s comments] important,” Luntz told The Daily Beast.
“Trump is not the same man he was a year ago,” Luntz added, commenting on Trump’s influence on the party. “Even many Republicans are tired of going back and rehashing the 2020 election. Everyone’s moved on, and in Washington everyone thinks they lost the election.”
Luntz isn’t alone in thinking Trump’s grip on the GOP may be weakening; GOP campaign strategist Susan Del Percio said she thinks Trump’s rallies appear to be getting smaller, reflecting the former president’s waning influence and “shrinking base.”
“Donald Trump? Yeah, he can get these people out, but these crowds are shrinking and people aren’t buying into it, mainly because the Republicans want to move on. They don’t want to talk about the big lie,” said Del Percio said in an interview on MSNBC this week. “People in this country don’t want to hear about it anymore.”
Trump, meanwhile, has been quick to bolster support from his most ardent supporters while continuing to promote baseless claims that the election was stolen from him. More recently, he rescinded his endorsement of former ally Rep. Mo Brooks in the Alabama Senate race after Brooks encouraged Republicans to move on to the 2020 voting results.