Another four years of Donald Trump as president would be a “horror show,” according to former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who served in the former Trump administration.
Barr, who served as attorney general in both the George H.W. Bush and Trump administrations, made the comments Friday during a luncheon at the City Club in Cleveland, Ohio. He has made similar comments since Trump’s loss in 2020, previously claiming the former president relies on “extortion” and “sabotage” to succeed in inter-party politics.
He replaced former Attorney General Jeff Sessions during Trump’s term, notably backing up the former president amid accusations of Russian collusion and the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report emanating from such claims. Barr resigned in December 2020 due to not supporting the twice-impeached Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of that year’s presidential election.
Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera asked Barr on Friday whether Trump is “fit” to be president.
“If you believe in his policies—what he’s advertising to be his policies—he’s the last person that could actually execute them and achieve them,” Barr said. “He does not have the discipline, he does not have the ability for strategic thinking or linear thinking, or setting priorities, or how to get things done in the system.
“It is a horror show when he’s left to his own devices. You may want his policies, but Trump will not deliver Trump policies. He will deliver chaos.”
In a one-word response to Barr’s statements, a Trump campaign spokesperson told Newsweek via email: “Who?”
Barr’s harsh critique coincides with past statements that he would support Trump should he be the Republican Party’s nominee in 2024. Trump currently has a stranglehold on the GOP electorate, according to numerous polls, as few candidates have thus far opted to challenge him.
While telling NBC‘s Today show in March that he would support a different candidate in the Republican primaries, Barr added that “because I believe that the greatest threat to the country is the progressive agenda being pushed by the Democratic Party, it’s inconceivable to me that I wouldn’t vote for the Republican nominee.”
The GOP candidate pool remains small.
Aside from Trump, others who have declared their candidacies are former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Michigan-based businessman Perry Johnson, and conservative commentator Larry Elder.
A Morning Consult poll conducted between April 28 and 30 shows Trump with a 34-percentage-point lead over DeSantis among potential Republican primary voters, 56 percent to 22 percent. DeSantis, who is often viewed as Trump’s most formidable challenger, has lost 7 percentage points of support since April 1.
Haley and Ramaswamy garnered 4 and 3 percent support, respectively, while Hutchinson sits at 0 percent.
The poll notes that President Joe Biden maintains a 2 percent lead over both Trump and DeSantis in a hypothetical general election.
Lisa Parshall, a political science professor at Daemen University, told Newsweek via email that DeSantis’ foray on the national stage “has been underwhelming to say the least, and has to be hugely disappointing to those who saw him as the best option for replacing Trump as the banner carrier for MAGA Republicanism.”
Recent national polling suggests that DeSantis’ enacted policies in Florida, via the state’s conservative-controlled legislature, could lead to voter troubles among women and independents.
“Conventional wisdom is that, as in 2016, a crowded field also helps Trump by splitting the anti-Trump vote against his stable base of loyal supporters,” Parshall said. “DeSantis is very much running in the same lane as Trump for the nomination.
“Trump has targeted him as his main rival and the strategy seems to be that as front runner, if Trump can hold DeSantis off, he may very well clear the entire field of challengers.”
Trump’s vulnerabilities are connected with potential legal woes, she added, which could cause the party to ultimately rethink its strategy based on attracting voters on a national scale.