President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE on Tuesday dismissed three potential Republican presidential primary challengers as “Three Stooges” as he seeks reelection in 2020.
In a pair of tweets, the president mocked former Reps. Mark SanfordMark SanfordThe Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? Libertarians view Amash as potential 2020 game changer for party Trump becomes presumptive GOP nominee after sweeping primaries MORE (R-S.C.) and Joe WalshJoe WalshBottom line ABC’s Whoopi Goldberg to headline Biden fundraiser with Sen. Tammy Duckworth Trump shares video of protesters confronting reporter: ‘FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL’ MORE (R-Ill.) as well as former Massachusetts Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldVermont governor, running for reelection, won’t campaign or raise money The Hill’s Campaign Report: Amash moves toward Libertarian presidential bid Libertarians view Amash as potential 2020 game changer for party MORE (R).
Walsh and Weld have announced GOP primary campaigns against Trump in 2020, while Sanford has said he is considering one as well.
“Can you believe it? I’m at 94% approval in the Republican Party, and have Three Stooges running against me,” Trump tweeted, though it was unclear what poll he was citing.
“One is ‘Mr. Appalachian Trail’ who was actually in Argentina for bad reasons,” he continued, referring to Sanford.
“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!” he added, referring to Walsh and Weld, respectively.
….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
Weld, who ran on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, was the first to announce he would seek to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination. The 74-year-old has struggled to gain traction, however, and most polls have shown him receiving single-digit support.
Walsh, meanwhile, announced his campaign on Sunday. He previously served one term as a congressman in Illinois and went on to become a conservative talk radio host, though he said this week that he lost his show upon launching his primary bid.
The ex-congressman has become a fervent critic of Trump’s rhetoric and character. Walsh himself has a history of making controversial statements, and acknowledged in recent days that he has said “racist things.”
Sanford said last month he was considering a primary challenge to Trump, though he has not formally announced a campaign. He has also been critical of the president, and he lost his reelection bid for his House seat last year after Trump endorsed his primary opponent.
Sanford had an extramarital affair in 2009 while serving as governor of South Carolina, but he lied and said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he had actually gone to Argentina to visit his mistress.
All three men and any other prospective challengers face slim odds to unseat Trump on the 2020 ticket.
The president has the financial backing of the Republican National Committee, and he has solidified support within the GOP, consistently polling close to 90 percent among Republicans in Gallup surveys.
Updated at 7:59 p.m.
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