Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci seems to grasp that his staying power on cable television is predicated on the headlines that he can draw, as the barbs he directs at his former boss get more and more extreme.
But then, so-called “Republicans” opposing President Donald Trump has become a cottage industry all to itself, with Scaramucci trying to last in a world that cares far more about the claims being made than the accuracy of those accusations.
Scaramucci’s latest ploy is to join with bitter Never Trumpers like Bill Kristol in a push for a formidable Republican to challenge Trump in the primary, and he appeared Monday on CNN in furtherance of that initiative, dropping a whopper on the network that all but dedicates 24/7 coverage to destroying the president.
According to Scaramucci, he is forming a coalition to oppose Trump, which he says will include former Cabinet officials who will attest to the president’s failing mental capacity ahead of the 2020 election.
“This is not a never-Trump situation, this is not just screeching rhetoric. This is, okay, the guy’s unstable, everyone inside knows it. Everyone outside knows it. Let’s see if we can find a viable alternative,” he told giddy CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota.
“Moreover, I’ve got to get these former Cabinet officials in unity to speak up about it. They know it’s a crisis,” Scaramucci said.
Admitting that he’s trying to get a “cycle started,” where “fear-based” Republicans are willing to come forward and denounce Trump, Scaramucci suggests that he speaks for Capitol Hill in saying Trump “is off his rocker.”
When he said the “balloon is coming out of the president’s bombast,” even Camerota, a raging Trump-hater, challenged him.
Scaramucci pointed to Trump’s rally last week in New Hampshire, citing reports on crowd size and the president’s rhetoric, as well as some recent polling, to support his claim.
At one point, Camerota cited another recent Scaramucci claim that Trump will drop out of the race.
“You’ve made the prediction that you think that President Trump will drop out of the race by March, but that sounds like crazy talk,” she said.
(Which makes one wonder why she has him on her show.)
Insisting it’s not crazy talk, Scaramucci suggested if Trump is down significantly in the polls in March he will “pull the plug,” six months before the general election — of course, if he really believed that he wouldn’t be allegedly forming his coalition to oppose the president.
“What you have to do right now is you have to offer Republicans a viable candidate and you also have to offer them an offramp,” he said, adding it’s “tough” for party members who want to be loyal.
If Scaramucci can’t convince the rabid Trump haters at CNN, and Camerota seemed highly skeptical, then he’s got his work cut out for him with getting the rest of the country on board.
He did accomplish one thing in his appearance — Scaramuccci got the president’s attention.
Trump responded on Twitter, slamming his former aide as “a highly unstable ‘nut job'” who “wheedled his way into my campaign.” He also accused Scaramucci of “abusing staff” in his short 11-day tenure of “gross incompetence.”
“Anthony Scaramucci is a highly unstable “nut job” who was with other candidates in the primary who got shellacked, & then unfortunately wheedled his way into my campaign. I barely knew him until his 11 days of gross incompetence-made a fool of himself, bad on TV. Abused staff, got fired. Wrote a very nice book about me just recently. Now the book is a lie? Said his wife was driving him crazy, “something big” was happening with her. Getting divorced. He was a mental wreck. We didn’t want him around. Now Fake News puts him on like he was my buddy!”
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