- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday conceded that the GOP’s midterm performance was “somewhat disappointing,” but said he shares none of the blame.

In a statement on his social media platform Truth Social, Mr. Trump lauded 219 wins by his endorsed candidates, calling it a “very big” personal victory.

“While in certain ways, yesterday’s election was somewhat disappointing, from my personal standpoint it was a very big victory - 219 WINS and 16 Losses in the General,” he wrote. “Who has ever done better than that?”

Mr. Trump, who is expected to announce a 2024 White House bid next week, has backed more than 300 Republicans in local and national races.

Of his 219 wins, many were in deep-red districts where candidates’ victories were all-but-sealed going into the election. Some were for local officials and state legislators with little impact on the overall political landscape.

But the overall figure glosses over Mr. Trump‘s pivotal losses that have raised questions over how much pull he will have on the GOP going forward.

SEE ALSO: Republican ‘red wave’ evaporates, but GOP still inching toward House majority

In Pennsylvania, Trump-backed GOP nominee Mehmet Oz lost to Democrat John Fetterman, flipping a critical Senate seat previously held by a Republican. The state’s Trump-endorsed Republican gubernatorial nominee, Doug Mastriano, was also defeated by his Democratic challenger, Josh Shapiro.

In New Hampshire, Don Bolduc was unable to secure the sought-after New Hampshire Senate seat for Republicans against Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan.

Mr. Trump did land Republican-favored, but still closely-watched Senate victories in North Carolina and Ohio. His endorsement also helped to keep Wisconsin’s Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in his seat after a tight race with Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes.

Republicans are on track to gain control of the House, but the overwhelming majority the party had hoped for is no longer a reality. The Senate remains up for grabs, pending results from key races in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia — which could take weeks to decide.

And the former president’s mixed record in pivotal races came into sharp focus as the long-promised Republican “red wave” fizzled Tuesday night.

“We need a Republican overhaul. Trump pushed a bunch of candidates that SUCK and everyone knew it, but we have no choice but to go along,” Republican communications strategist Caleb Hull wrote in a series of tweets.

SEE ALSO: GOP path to Senate majority gets tougher with Fetterman win in Pennsylvania

“We had everything on our side and missed the mark,” he said.

Mr. Trump anticipated blowback late Tuesday, telling NewsNation in an interview before polls closed that he should not be blamed if his candidates fail to perform.

“Well, I think if they win, I should get all the credit,” he said. “And if they lose, I should not be blamed at all, OK, but it’ll probably be just the opposite.”

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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