Friday, March 24th, 2023

Trump exposes the limits of his power with ill-fated endorsements

Trump exposes the limits of his power with ill-fated endorsements
Win or lose, the former president’s endorsement often guarantees only about a third of the primary electorate. Republican strategists are watching that dynamic closely.

ATLANTA — By flexing so often in GOP primaries, Donald Trump has exposed the limits of his political muscle.

The former president’s top targets — Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr — manhandled their challengers in Georgia on Tuesday.

Next door, in Alabama, GOP Senate candidate Mo Brooks survived Trump yanking his endorsement to qualify for a primary run-off.

And those high-profile setbacks came just a week after Trump favorite Rep. Madison Cawthorn lost a re-nomination battle for a western North Carolina House district, while Mehmet Oz, the TV doctor who bore Trump’s blessing, is still awaiting his fate in a photo-finish Pennsylvania Senate primary.

The gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday entered the school building unobstructed, authorities said Thursday.

Contrary to information officials released earlier, the gunman was not confronted by a school police officer before entering Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, state Department of Public Safety South Texas Regional Director Victor Escalon said Thursday.

The gunman walked into the west side of Robb Elementary at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday and started firing. Four minutes later, local and school police followed him inside, Escalon said.

“They hear gunfire, they take rounds, they move back, get cover, and during that time, they approach where the suspect is at,” Escalon said.

As soon as the gunman entered, he walked 20 to 30 feet and turned right to walk another 20 feet before turning left and into a classroom, according to Escalon.

“Officers are there, the initial officers, they receive gunfire. They don’t make entry initially because of the gunfire they’re receiving. But we have officers calling for additional resources, everyone that’s in the area,” Escalon said.

“During this time that they’re making those calls to bring in help to solve this problem and stop it immediately, they’re also evacuating personnel, when I say students, teachers. There’s a lot going on.”

The suspect had shot his grandmother and crashed his pickup truck at about 11:28 a.m. before walking to the school.

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