A “number of people … have just switched off Trump in their brain,” Bolton told The Guardian in an interview published Saturday. They want a “fresh face,” he added.
“Even if they loved his style, loved his approach, loved his policies, loved everything about him, they don’t want to lose, and the fear is, given the results [Nov. 8], that if he got the nomination, not only would he lose the general election, but he would take an awful lot of Republican candidates down with him,” Bolton warned.
Bolton is one of a growing number of Trump administration “alumni” — including former Attorney General William Barr and one-time acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney — fearful that Trump has become an “electoral liability,” the newspaper noted.
Trump fired Bolton less than a year after he became national security adviser in 2018 amid clashes over various issues. Bolton blasted Trump as unfit for office in a blistering 2020 memoir.
Bolton told The Guardian that he has been conducting his own polling, revealing that Trump’s base within the GOP has been steadily declining over the last two years.
He conceded that Trump’s endorsement of extremist candidates in the midterm primaries had an impact — but that didn’t translate to wins in the general election.
“There’s no doubt Trump’s endorsement in the primary can be very valuable to a candidate in the Republican party,” Bolton said. “But relying on that endorsement, or trumpeting yourself as the Trump-endorsed candidate, is poisonous in the general election. So if you actually want to win elections, Trump is not the answer.”