"I should not be blamed at all": Trump throws his MAGA candidates under the bus after midterm losses

Trump distanced himself from New Hampshire loser Don Bolduc and reportedly trashed Pennsylvania loser Mehmet Oz

Published November 9, 2022 11:50AM (EST)

Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz joins former President Donald Trump onstage during a rally at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz joins former President Donald Trump onstage during a rally at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump has already started throwing Republicans he endorsed ahead of their midterm losses under the bus, rejecting any blame for the failed "red wave" on Tuesday.

Trump sought to distance himself from Republican Don Bolduc, whom he endorsed in the race against Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., after he was projected to lose. Bolduc endorsed Trump's false 2020 election claims during the Republican primary but tried to downplay his claims about fraud after winning the nomination. Trump ultimately endorsed him after Bolduc floated a baseless claim that people were being "bussed" into New Hampshire to vote during a debate.

Trump on Truth Social claimed Bolduc lost because he wavered on election denial.

"Don Bolduc was a very nice guy, but he lost tonight when he disavowed, after his big primary win, his longstanding stance on Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Primary," Trump wrote. "Had he stayed strong and true, he would have won easily. Lessons Learned!!!"

Trump offered a tepid endorsement on Truth Social last month.

"General Don Bolduc has run a great campaign to be the U.S. Senator from the beautiful State of New Hampshire," Trump wrote at the time. "He was a strong and proud 'Election Denier,' a big reason that he won the Nomination, but he then disavowed. He has since come back, at least on busing, but that is only a small part of N.H. Election Fraud."

Trump also took to Truth Social to dunk on Republican candidate Joe O'Dea on Tuesday. O'Dea was endorsed by Trump rival Gov. Ron DeSantis and is projected to lose to Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., according to AP.

"Joe O'Dea lost BIG! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!" Trump wrote late Tuesday night. Trump had also previously told his followers not to vote for O'Dea, calling him a RINO, or a "Republican in name only," according to reporting from Axios.


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Trump has also been "privately trashing" Republican Mehmet Oz, who conceded the Pennsylvania Senate seat to Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, according to Axios.

Trump ahead of the results on Tuesday made clear that he should not shoulder any blame if Republicans lose.

"Well, I think if they win, I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all," Trump said in an interview with NewsNation. 

"But it will probably be just the opposite," he said, predicting that "when" Republicans win, he will  "probably be given very little credit" despite his endorsements, but "if they do badly, they will blame everything on me." 

He also went on to say that he was responsible for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' victory in 2016, and that his potential rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination "could have been more gracious. But that's up to him."


By Samaa Khullar

Samaa Khullar is a news fellow at Salon with a background in Middle Eastern history and politics.

MORE FROM Samaa Khullar


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Don Bolduc Donald Trump Elections Joe O’dea Mehmet Oz Politics Ron Desantis