Former President Donald Trump may still be considered the king maker of the Republican party but there's a small number of conservatives still willing to criticize him, and warning against Trump's future as a potential candidate.
Frank Luntz has worked for decades as a political consultant for Republican campaigns, but hasn't been shy about his disdain for former President Donald Trump.
In case there was any doubt, Luntz asserted in a recent interview that this disdain is hardly unique to him, but pervasive behind the scenes in Republican circles.
Luntz was responding to comments made by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu at the Gridiron Club during its annual roast-style dinner. Sununu said Trump was "f***ing crazy," and wouldn't be let out of a mental institution if admitted.
Though Sununu later said it was "all a joke," Luntz says there's a degree of truth to the sentiment.
He recently told the Daily Beast:
“I don’t know a single Republican who was surprised by what Sununu said. He said what they were thinking. They won’t say it [in public], but behind his back, they think he’s a child. They’re laughing at him.”
He then criticized Trump's fantasy that the 2020 election was "stolen," saying:
“Even many Republicans are tired of going back and rehashing the 2020 election. Everybody else has moved on and in Washington everyone believes he lost the election."
Some Republicans have paid a steep price for urging Republican voters to move on from 2020 and focus on winning in 2022. The former President revoked his endorsement of Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks' Senate campaign, citing Brooks' urging of voters to focus on midterms rather than the 2020 election.
Social media users found common ground with Luntz, but remain skeptical that heavy hitters of the Republican party will ever publicly break with Trump.
Just keep hoping the dam will break, but, unlike The Emperor’s New Clothes, no R is innocent or daring enough to speak truth to nutcase.
— Jerome D Danzell (@DrewDanzell) April 12, 2022
If the Republicans can only snigger behind Trump's back instead of calling him what he is directly to his face, they're as childish as he is. https://t.co/qgZyV7NCw1
— Sean #BlackLivesMatter #IStandWithUkraine (@SeanFlan45) April 13, 2022
They’re gonna vote for him tho. https://t.co/4X0Hq7hmwo
— AL GORE SHOULDA NEVER GIVEN YOU BITCHES INTERNET (@water_booboo) April 13, 2022
And yet they love what he unleashed on us. The hate, the cruelty, the lust for an authoritarian leader. They love all that. https://t.co/fjtHV1w87I
— E DiPalma GREED KILLS (@edipalma) April 13, 2022
Yea but they STILL would vote for him if he runs in 24, sooo https://t.co/EPtkTSPCrf
— 🇵🇷🏳️🌈Bonnie 🏳️⚧️🇺🇸. 🌻🇺🇦 (@Bonnievee2017) April 13, 2022
But some conservatives were annoyed to hear Luntz's latest evaluation, insisting he's a "RINO," or "Republican in Name Only."
Luntz is a fraud along with the other pompous RINO’s . https://t.co/jtCTiJwu72
— Jeff Goodheart (@jlgenergy) April 13, 2022
@GOPLeader , you are too close
to Frank Luntz. If you take his advice,
you will lose!
Impeaching Biden is not "political" it
is warranted. Do not be a RINO!
— marie chevalier 🍊🇺🇸 (@mariech68063792) April 12, 2022
Frank Luntz is the sort of “Republican” who opposed Trump in 2016, provides advice to DEM Governor Whitmer, consorts with never-Trumpers, believes there were no irregularities in the 2020 election and is out of touch with the GOP base. Luntz is a Lincoln Party RINO
— ~ Georgette O🍊 (@Orwell_2012) April 13, 2022
NO one takes @FrankLuntz seriously - he's just another Establishment lackey that's done very well for himself -- but anyone who uses anything he says as a "barometer" for how GOP base feels is as foolish as Luntz is phony. GOP base sees thru/ignores him. @monique_beals
— TwittaChicca (@TwittaChicca) April 13, 2022
it remains to be seen whether the behind-the-scenes jeers Luntz describes will be public before Trump makes an announcement about his candidacy in 2024.